Stock futures edged higher Wednesday, following on from another record high close for both the Dow and the S&P 500, as Wall Street sifted through a trove of third quarter earnings reports and a further move higher in Treasury bond yields.
The strength of the third quarter earnings seasons has powered stocks to a series of record highs this month, but creeping inflation concerns, and the uncertainty linked to Democratic tax proposals -- alongside ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain -- remain a constant on the bear side of the market's ledger.
Market-based gauges for near-term inflation prospects, in fact, are trading the the highest levels in 15 years, while benchmark 2-year note yields topped the 0.5% mark in overnight trading for the first time in 19 months as investors re-set rate expectations ahead of next month's Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a 35 point opening bell gain, while those linked to the S&P 500 futures are suggesting a 2.5 point bump. Nasdaq futures gained around 20 points.
Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report surged after the tech giant posted first quarter profits of more than $20 billion, powered in part by booming demand for its cloud computing services.
Microsoft said revenue for Azure, its flagship cloud division, rose 48% from last year, helping overall revenue rise 22% to a record $45.3 billion.
Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report shares were up slightly after the aerospace giant posted a wider-than-expected third quarter loss Wednesday, as well as softer revenues, as the company warned that charges linked to its delayed 787 Dreamliner could reach $1 billion.
McDonalds (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings as higher U.S. menu prices, as well as larger order sizes, boosted sales for the world's biggest restaurant chain.
Tesla shares rose after riding-hailing company Uber Technologies (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies, Inc. Report said it would partner with Hertz Global (HTZZ) - Get HERTZ GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC Report to offer 50,000 clean-energy cars to its drivers.
Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and lifted its full-year profit forecast as major economies around the world continued with the re-opening of restaurants, sports venues and movie theaters-- and serving Coke.