Stock futures about flat following 400-point rally in the Dow

Stock futures about flat following 400-point rally in the Dow

European markets muted; big Bank of England hike expected

European stocks were muted on Thursday as uncertainty returned following gains in the previous session.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.2% by mid-morning. Retail stocks were the standout performers, gaining 2.2%, while telecoms fell 0.5%.

The U.K.’s FTSE pulled back ahead of the Bank of England’s monetary policy decision later on Thursday. The central bank is broadly expected to hike interest rates by 50 basis points, its largest single increase since 1995.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares gain 4% ahead of earnings

Alibaba is set to report fiscal first-quarter earnings before the market open and analysts expect the Chinese e-commerce giant to post its first revenue decline on record.

Alibaba is projected to post revenue of 203.19 billion yuan ($30 billion) for the June quarter, down 1.2% from a year ago, according to consensus forecasts from Refinitiv.

Alibaba has faced a number of headwinds, from a stricter regulatory environment in China to a resurgence of Covid in the world’s second-largest economy which led to lockdowns of major cities. Those factors have hit the Chinese economy, dampening ad budgets and consumer spending, which will likely to weigh on Alibaba’s June quarter results.

Still, analysts expect the company to return to growth in the coming quarters. Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares were more than 4% higher ahead of earnings.

— Arjun Kharpal

Jim Cramer says charts point to a rally in gold

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said now is a good time to buy gold as signs are pointing to a rally, according to analysis by commodity trader Larry Williams.

The “Mad Money” host explained Williams’ analysis by looking at the weekly action of gold from 2014 and data on small speculators’ positioning on gold from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders report.

Gold prices usually peak soon after small speculators get too bullish on the precious metal, and bottom out when small speculators are too bearish, according to Williams.

“The charts, as interpreted by the legendary Larry Williams, suggest that the general public’s giving up on gold en masse and he thinks that that makes it the perfect entry time to do some buying,” Cramer said.

— Abigail Ng, Krystal Hur

Here’s how to invest for yields to beat a bad year for stocks and bonds — according to the pros

Stocks are volatile, and bonds haven’t been doing better for much of this year, with U.S. investment grade bonds plummeting in 2022. 

But analysts have recently been bullish on income investing as yields start to creep up again.

Here are some ways that the pros suggest investors can position their portfolios for diversification and protection against market volatility as well as seek higher yields as inflation continues to rise. Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Weizhen Tan

Fortinet shares fall

Fortinet shares slid more than 9% in extended trading after the cybersecurity firm reported its quarterly results, which included free cash flow of $283.5 million, compared to FactSet estimates of $337.2 million. Services revenue also missed estimates.

Other cybersecurity stocks moved lower too after hours. CrowdStrike edged lower by 1% and Palo Alto Networks lost more than 1%.

— Tanaya Macheel

Walmart beings layoffs, about a week after its profit warning

Walmart has started laying off corporate employees about a week after the retail giant slashed its profit outlook and warned about a pullback in consumer discretionary spending due to inflation. The company described the layoffs as a way to “better position the company for a strong future” in a statement to CNBC. Shares inched lower by less than 1% after hours.

— Tanaya Macheel

Lucid shares tumble nearly 12%

Shares of the electric luxury vehicle maker Lucid Group tumbled 11.7% in extended trading after the company cut its full-year production targets for a second time to 6,000. The original forecast was 20,000. The company also reported a quarterly loss of 33 cents per share.

— Tanaya Macheel

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