Live stock market news updates: January 18, 2023

US stock futures were little changed ahead of Wednesday’s open as investors prepared to analyze more company financial updates for signs of the “earnings recession” many analysts have been warning of.

Futures linked to the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.1%, while futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) hugged the flatline. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) were also a modest 0.1% above breakeven.

Among specific stock moves, shares of United Airlines (UAL) rose 2.5% in pre-market trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the final three months of 2022 and optimistic outlook for the new year – underlining resilient travel demand despite high airfares.

Shares of Moderna (MRNA) rose 6.7% for the open after the biotech said results from a late-stage clinical trial for its vaccine against RSV were effective and it would seek approval for the injection by mid-term of the Food and Drug Administration of the Year.

Shares of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) fell nearly 2% following a downgrade from Morgan Stanley to Everweight’s Equal-Weight.

Investors are approaching the peak of what is likely to be a challenging quarterly earnings season. Analysts have downgraded their earnings growth forecasts. For the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 is expected to report a year-over-year decline in earnings of 3.9%, according to data from FactSet Research. .

DataTrek’s Nicholas Colas notes that while the short-term declines in S&P sequential earnings resemble those seen before the last four recessions, there is not enough evidence at this point to suggest an economic downturn or a significant drop in corporate earnings. to support.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 17: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“What we don’t have yet is understanding the catalyst that will drive the next set of larger negative quarterly comparisons,” notes Colas.

“Yes, last year’s aggressive monetary policy from the Fed could still bite the US economy in 2023 and drive down corporate profits,” he added. and/or substantially lower corporate profits.”

Investors also eyed a pivotal central bank move abroad early Wednesday. The Bank of Japan maintained monetary policy, maintained ultra-low interest rates and capped its bond yields, contrary to market expectations. The yen fell against the dollar as a result of the outcome.

In commodity markets, oil continued a series of gains. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up 2% to $81.80 a barrel.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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