U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday led by Nasdaq as gloomy forecasts from Meta and Qualcomm soured the mood ahead of data which could likely show a slight rebound in U.S. economic growth in the second quarter.
Fears of runaway inflation and aggressive monetary policy tightening biting into economic growth have spooked markets ahead of the Commerce Department's advance second-quarter GDP report, which will however, still show that the economy was losing momentum.
A Reuters survey of economists showed GDP growth likely rebounded at a 0.5% annualized rate last quarter, following a negative reading for the first three months of the year.
Two consecutive quarters of declines in growth are traditionally considered a recession, but the private research group that is the official arbiter of U.S. recessions looks at a broad range of indicators instead, including jobs and spending.
"We don't think we're in a recession, but there is a risk that you get that headline of two negative quarters, mainly because of exports and inventories," said Willem Sels, HSBC's global chief investment officer for private banking and wealth.
"I think the market is pricing in a small contraction, so I don't think investors will be spooked by it, but from a broader set of indicators that we're looking at, it's clear that we're still slowing."
Worries of a recession hit Meta Platforms Inc shares, which fell 5.3% in premarket trading after it posted its first ever quarterly drop in revenue.
Qualcomm Inc fell 3.7% after it warned that difficult economic conditions and a slowdown in smartphone demand could hit its mainstay handset chips business.
Other technology and high-growth stocks led declines, with Apple Inc off 0.6% and Amazon.com Inc down 0.9% ahead of their quarterly reports after market close.
The Nasdaq index clocked its biggest daily percentage gain since April 2020 on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected and comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell eased some investor worries about the pace of rate hikes.
The U.S. central bank's tightening cycle has hammered mega cap stocks as future cash flows, on which valuations of these companies rest, are discounted heavily when rates rise.
At 6:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 56 points, or 0.17%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 11.25 points, or 0.28%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 79 points, or 0.63%.
Ford Motor Co rose 5.6% after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly net income. (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh & Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)