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The decline in stock futures is focused on technology profits

US stock futures fell amid concerns about the proliferation of Covid-19 vaccines and as investors expected a crushing day in earnings reports.

Futures tied to the broad S&P 500 fell 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%. Nasdaq-100 heavy technology futures fell 0.2%.

Delays in the release of Covid-19 vaccines, combined with prolonged blocking measures, marked a “double emphasis” on bad news for investors, said Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments.

“I think the market expected that by now we would be talking about loosening, not tightening restrictions,” he said. “As far as the spread of the vaccine is concerned, this is very problematic in the near future. This is very important for shaping the return on growth and these problems just add more delay to it. “

AstraZeneca denied reports Wednesday that it had withdrawn from a meeting with European Union officials as the dispute between the two groups over vaccine shortages deepened.

The Biden administration said Tuesday it would purchase enough additional coronavirus photos to vaccinate most of the United States with a two-dose regimen by the end of the summer.

In pre-market trading on Wednesday, investors analyzed the results of AT&T,,

Blackstone and Boeing on one of the busiest days of the quarterly profit season. Revenue from Apple,,

Facebook and Tesla should be released as soon as the market closes. Investors are eager to see how the tech giants do during the quarter marked by ongoing locks and home stay orders.

“The bar for technology stocks to win is quite high because we were still blocked and yet they seem to be doing well against these higher expectations,”

; Mr Redha said.

Shares of Microsoft gained 2.3% before the start of the bell, after the company reported record three-month sales on Tuesday. Its shares closed on a new high Tuesday.

The Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 6.9 percent in market trading after the drugstore chain named Starbucks chief operating officer Rosalind Brewer as the next chief executive.

Profits have been satisfying the market so far, and investors continue to rely on economic support from the Federal Reserve and a possible stimulus plan from the Biden administration. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 reached a new high during the day before slipping into the last minutes of trading.

“The Fed and Biden’s new stimulus plans are all very positive for the stock market,” said Brian Walsh Jr., portfolio manager at Walsh & Nicholson. “They say we will not allow the markets to fail right now and with low bond yields like them, nowhere else.”

The Fed is expected to leave monetary policy unchanged, and President Jerome Powell is likely to underscore the bank’s commitment to supporting a low-interest economy and buying bonds for the foreseeable future. Mr Powell is likely to face questions about the health of the economy and how long the Fed’s stimulus measures will remain in place.

GameStop grew by more than 80% in pre-trading as social media-driven day traders seemed ready to pile into the trader for another day. Shares rose 113% on Tuesday amid a battle between individual investors and hedge funds that cut shares. After markets closed on Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Gamestonk !!” in an obvious reference to the insane trade.

Data on orders for durable goods will be published at 8:30 ET ET. The figures are expected to show the eighth consecutive monthly increase in orders, highlighting the sustainability of production during the pandemic.

In commodity markets, crude Brent, the international oil index, rose 0.1% to $ 55.72 a barrel. Gold prices fell 0.7 percent to $ 1,838.70.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 overseas fell 1.1%, while in Asia stock indices were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent, while in mainland China Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 percent.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 reached a new high during the day before slipping into the last minutes of trading.


Nicole Pereira / Associated Press

Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com

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