LIVE: Market Coverage: Thursday October 14 Yahoo Finance

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, October 13, 2021
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    Stock futures headed toward a higher open Thursday morning after a slew of earnings results from the big banks topped expectations, and new weekly jobless claims showed a larger-than-anticipated improvement to a pandemic-era low.

    The S&P 500 was on track for a second straight session of gains. Nasdaq futures outperformed, adding to gains as Treasury yields fell further. The benchmark 10-year yield pulled back further to come in below 1.53% after topping 1.62% just earlier this week.

    Bank earnings continued on Thursday with companies including Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) posting quarterly results before the opening bell. Bank of America's profits soared by 58% over last year to $7.7 billion, with this sum boosted by the release of $1.1 billion in credit reserves that had been previously set aside to protect against potential customer defaults. Wells Fargo's results saw a similar boost from reserve releases, as well as from increased investment banking revenue and consumer credit card-related sales. And Morgan Stanley posted estimates-topping revenue in both its fixed income and equities trading units, with the bank seeing a pick-up in business as market activity related elevated during the quarter.

    As earnings season rolls on in the coming weeks, investor focus will be fixed on companies' commentary around prices increases, supply chain disruptions and labor challenges. All of these factors have been seen as contributing to an earnings slowdown compared to the second quarter. However, how long-lasting these challenges prove to be, and which companies will ultimately be hit the hardest by these factors, has been a central question for investors.

    At the macro level, inflation has already lasted for months across various pockets of the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) September Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.4% in September compared to last year, coming in at its fastest pace since 2008. A jump in prices for rent, groceries and energy saw especially notable increases. And the BLS's Producer Price Index (PPI) showed that selling prices for producers increased at an 8.6% annual rate in September, or the fastest rate on record in data spanning back to 2010.

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