Jan 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures slipped on Wednesday as a busy week of earnings gained momentum, with upbeat results from Microsoft cushioning the fall in Nasdaq futures ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy statement later in the day.
Microsoft Corp gained 2.3% premarket, as the software maker continues to benefit from remote working and learning trends globally.
Microsoft’s results set a positive precedent for other technology-related companies including Apple Inc, Tesla Inc and Facebook Inc, which are set to report quarterly numbers later in the day.
Tech companies have recently come back into favor after blowout results from streaming service provider Netflix Inc , and as investors dumped economy-linked banks, energy and small cap stocks.
However, concerns about heightened stock market valuations, raging coronavirus cases and any potential disruption to vaccine rollouts have spooked investors about a pullback and increase in volatility in the near-term.
The Fed is expected to keep monetary policy locked in crisis-fighting mode at its meeting ending on Wednesday, with investors also looking forward to relief from ongoing vaccinations and new government spending plans.
There is a high risk of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections derailing the world economy this year, according to a majority of economists in a Reuters poll, who forecast global GDP would reach pre-pandemic levels within two years.
At 7:12 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 241 points, or 0.78%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 32.25 points, or 0.84%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 23.5 points, or 0.17%.
Boeing Co posted a record annual loss of $11.94 billion and said it would delay its all-new 777X jet again. The planemaker’s shares were 0.7% higher.
Starbucks Corp fell 1.9% after the coffee chain reported a larger-than-expected fall in quarterly sales, as the renewed surge in coronavirus cases in the United States kept customers at home.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc jumped 6.4% after the drugstore chain named outgoing chief operating officer of Starbucks, Roz Brewer, as its chief executive officer.
Videogame retailer GameStop Corp’s shares surged another 75.4% on Wednesday, as amateur investors continued to pile into the stock that has skyrocketed nearly 700% over the past two weeks.
(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)