Stock futures slip as market is set to wrap up a wild week; Apple shares pop

Stock futures declined early Friday, boosted by a jump in Apple shares, as Wall Street looks to wrap up a roller-coaster week on a high note.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 74 points, or 0.21%, after being higher earlier in the session. S&P 500 futures were little changed and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.48%.

Shares of Apple popped nearly 4% in after-hours trading after the company reported its largest single quarter in terms of revenue ever. Its sales grew more than 11% even amid supply challenges and the lingering effects of the pandemic. Apple beat analyst estimates for sales in every product category except iPads.

Major averages have experienced outsized intraday swings each day this week as investors continued to digest the Federal Reserve’s pivot to tighter policy. The market’s fear gauge, the Cboe Volatility Index, shot up to its highest level since October 2020 earlier this week and has traded above 30.

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The Dow just came off its ninth negative session in 10, falling 0.3% on the week and could head for its fourth negative week in a row. The S&P 500 is down 1.62% week to date, while the Nasdaq Composite tech barometer has dropped 1.4%, on track for its straight fifth negative week.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are both now in correction territory, sitting 10.2% and 17.6% below their respective record highs.

The Fed indicated Wednesday that it likely soon raise interest rates for the first time in more than three years as part of a broader tightening of historically easy monetary policy. Markets are now pricing in five quarter-percentage-point interest rate hikes in 2022, though the long-range expectation for rates is little changed.

“The FOMC meeting did not bring any surprises in terms of monetary policy, however, it may be perceived as more hawkish than expectations owing to Chair Powell’s suggestion of a need to enter a ‘steady’ phase of policy normalization,” Chris Hussey, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, said in a note.

Investors will get an important economic snapshot this morning as the Commerce Department reports December’s personal consumption expenditures price index, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the PCE measure to show a 4.8% year-over-year gain excluding food and energy, which would be the highest reading since September 1983. The report is due out at 8:30 a.m., the same time the Labor Department releases the employment cost index for the fourth quarter of 2021. The Fed also watches that gauge closely for inflation pressure, and it is expected to show a 1.2% quarterly gain.

The fourth-quarter earnings season has been solid so far. Of the 145 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported to date, 79.3% topped analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Chevron is set to report numbers before the bell on Friday.

“For now, I am determined to not fight the Fed. I’m bracing for heightened market volatility and significantly more modest market returns,” said Brian Levitt, Invesco’s global market strategist.

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