• US stock futures slipped Friday after Snap's earnings miss undermined hopes for corporate results.
  • Its downbeat outlook revived worries about an economic slowdown ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week.
  • Reports from the FAANG big techs next week will also set the tone for stock markets, analysts said.

Nasdaq futures tipped lower on Friday after poor quarterly results from Snap undermined hopes for an upbeat corporate earnings season and revived worries about an economic slowdown.

The downbeat mood looked set to take the wind out of this week's rally in US equities, which saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq log its third day of wins Thursday.

Futures on the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.54% and those on the S&P 500 were 0.27% lower in European trading. Meanwhile, Dow Jones futures were wavering around the flatline, down 0.02%.

Signs of strength in second-quarter earnings updates from the likes of Netflix and Tesla have encouraged investors to set aside some of their concerns about a US economic slowdown.

But the Snapchat owner's quarterly revenue miss and hiring freeze on Thursday cast cold water on those hopes, as the company warned of an uncertain outlook, given the weakening economy.

Its stock was down as much as 30% in premarket trading. Worries about a fall-off in online advertising dragged down shares in Meta Platforms and Google parent Alphabet, which have already put hiring pauses in place.

"As Meta found out earlier in the year, markets will severely punish richly valued tech stocks at the first sign of trouble, and there is now some risk to the broader equity markets from the FAANGS yet to report," OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley wrote in a note.

The market is on edge waiting to see whether more companies will cut their outlooks, Saxo Bank analysts said, noting Twitter is due to report earnings Friday. Caution is in the air with Apple, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft on next week's docket, they added.

"Equity sentiment will probably cool following more signs the US economy is showing signs of fatigue, while company outlooks get darker," Saxo's strategists said.

PMI updates on manufacturing and services activity due later Friday will be watched for clues to US economic health that could help steer the Federal Reserve.

"Weaker than feared global flash PMI figures for July risk reigniting concern of a incoming recession. Global markets have rallied strongly in recent weeks, from equities to bitcoin, as economic growth and inflation fears have both eased. They may now be set for a reality check," Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at online broker eToro, said.

The Fed starts a two-day meeting on Tuesday, and analysts say it is likely to be a key moment for markets after a volatile month. Investors weighing whether another 0.75% interest rate rise is coming — or even a 1% hike.

Europe's pan-continental STOXX 600 index rose 0.54%, despite the European Central Bank's bigger-than-expected 0.5% interest-rate hike on Thursday, its first in 11 years. London's FTSE 100 added 0.41% after official data showed a just a 0.1% drop in retail sales in June.

Asian stocks mainly eked out small gains overnight, with Tokyo's Nikkei 225 up 0.4% as Japan reported above-target inflation in June and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closing 0.17% higher. But the Shanghai Composite was down 0.06%.

Here's how other key assets were performing:

  • Brent crude oil was down 0.41% to $99.07 a barrel, while WTI crude was down 0.44% to $95.94.
  • The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note fell 5.8 basis points to 2.822%. Yields move inversely to prices.
  • The US dollar index was up 0.14% at 107.07, while the pulled back 0.72% to $1.0156.
  • Bitcoin was 1.4% higher at $23,456.
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