Dow futures slip; Caterpillar earnings, JOLTs data in focus By

© Reuters. — U.S. stock futures weakened Tuesday, handing back some of the recent gains as investors awaited a deluge of megacap earnings as well as important economic data.

By 06:30 ET (10:30 GMT), the contract was down 85 points, or 0.2%, traded 10 points, or 0.2%, lower and dropped 42 points, or 0.3%.

The benchmark Wall Street indices closed modestly higher Monday, ending the month of July which saw the broad-based and the blue chip both gain more than 3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced over 4%.

Earnings deluge continues

Strong earnings have helped boost stocks, which have already been rising this year on the prospect of the Federal Reserve nearing the end of its increases.

More than 160 S&P 500 constituents are scheduled to release their quarterly results this week, adding to the more than 250 that have already reported. Of those companies that have already disclosed, 80% beat earnings expectations, according to FactSet data.

The pharma giants Pfizer (NYSE:) and Merck (NYSE:) are set to release results before the bell, as well as ride-hailing company Uber (NYSE:), but a lot of focus will be on the earnings of Caterpillar (NYSE:), as the construction equipment maker is often seen as a bellwether of the world economy.

Coffee chain Starbucks (NASDAQ:) and chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:) are set to offer up quarterly numbers after the close.

Meta to launch AI chatbots – FT

Elsewhere, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:) is likely to attract attention after the Financial Times reported that the Facebook parent is preparing to release new artificial intelligence-powered chatbots that have different personalities, in an attempt to boost user engagement.

Job openings in focus

There is also important economic data scheduled for release this season, including and labor turnover numbers from June and the July .

These numbers will be studied carefully ahead of Friday’s official , which is expected to show the economy added jobs, though at a slower pace than in June.

The Fed won’t meet to decide on rates again until September, and Chair Jerome Powell was at pains to point out last week the importance of upcoming data in helping the policymakers decide upon the future path of interest rates.

Crude retreats as global manufacturing activity slides

Oil prices slipped lower Tuesday after private survey data showed further signs of weakness in the , an important component of the world’s second-largest economy and largest importer of crude.

Similar data in Europe was also depressing, as across the eurozone contracted in July at the fastest pace since COVID-19.

By 06:30 ET, futures traded 0.6% lower at $81.33 a barrel, while the contract dropped 0.5% to $85.03.

However, both contracts remained near three-month highs on signs of tightening global supply, as major producers started implementing output cuts.

Additionally, fell 0.8% to $1,993.35/oz, while traded 0.2% lower at 1.0976.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this article.)

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