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* Apple rises after posting record holiday quarter sales
* Caterpillar falls on flagging Q1 margin pressure
* Futures down: Dow 0.31%, S&P 0.09%, Nasdaq 0.17%
Jan 28 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq was set to open higher on
Friday after stellar results from Apple Inc, while the latest
reading of the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge to measure
inflation eased concerns around faster interest rate hikes.
The iPhone maker gained 3% in premarket trading
after posting record sales for its flagship phones in the
The core personal consumption expenditure price index, rose
0.5% for the month of December, in line with expectations.
"It does look like the overall number was a little bit
better than what the market was expecting, and so that is
causing a little bit of a reversal in the premarket," said Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities
in New York.
Still, inflation accelerated 4.9% year-on-year in December,
the biggest rise since 1983, while consumer spending fell last
month amid tight supply chains and raging COVID-19 infections.
Wall Street's main indexes are on course for their fourth
straight weekly fall as traders and big banks raised their bets
to nearly five rate hikes by December after the Federal Reserve
hinted at a rate hike in March and warned of persistent
"While it doesn't feel fun, we are exiting a period of 0%
interest rates and trillions of dollars in Fed asset purchases,"
said Darrell Spence, economist at Capital Group.
"We knew it had to happen sometime, and now that we are
exiting that environment and moving into a different regime, we
should expect a little bit more volatility."
Geopolitical tensions between Russia and West over Ukraine
also increased market volatility, with the Wall Street's fear
gauge last up 0.75 point at 31.24.
The benchmark S&P 500 narrowly avoided correction for
the fourth time this week on Thursday. Small-caps have suffered
the most, with the Russell 2000 index now down 20.8% from
its record-closing peak of Nov. 8 and confirming a bear market.
At 8:58 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 106 points,
or 0.31%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.09%,
and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 23.5 points, or 0.17%.
Russell 2000 futures were down 0.6%.
The fourth-quarter earnings season has been mixed so far. Of
the 145 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings as
of Thursday, 79.3% beat profit expectations, according to
Visa added 4.3% after beating Wall Street's quarterly
estimates as more international travel and e-commerce drove an
increase spending volumes.
Caterpillar Inc slipped 4.0% after the world's
largest heavy-duty equipment maker warned of margin pressure
from higher production and labor costs.
VF Corp slid 5% after the Vans owner cut its
full-year revenue outlook on delivery delays and worker
shortages, while storage hardware maker Western Digital
fell 8.1% on bleak forecast.
"Supply chain issues are going to be with us for at least
the first half of this year ... these issues combined with
higher interest rates and geopolitical tensions are going to
continue to weigh on stocks for awhile," said Sam Stovall, chief
Investment strategist at CFRA Research.
Commission-free brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc
dropped 12.1% after reporting a net loss.
(Reporting by Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Arun Koyyur)