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Futures subdued with earnings in full swing, Salesforce up on Elliot stake


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. stock index futures struggled for direction at the start of another big week for corporate earnings amid concerns about a recession, while Salesforce rose on Monday as Elliott Management acquired a stake in the firm.

A slew of earnings in the coming weeks will also test the recent bounce in certain technology and growth stocks that took a large hit last year.

Concerns of a possible recession amid a high interest rate environment have hit growth-related sectors, driving major tech companies such as Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) to lay off thousands of employees.

Companies which make up more than half the S&P 500 index’s (.SPX) market value will report earnings in the next two weeks, with Microsoft, the second-largest U.S. firm by market value, posting results on Tuesday, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and IBM (IBM.N) on Wednesday and Intel (INTC.O) on Thursday.

Shares of cloud-based software firm Salesforce Inc (CRM.N) rose 4.0% in premarket trading to lead gains among Dow (.DJI) components after activist investor Elliott Management Corp made a multi-billion-dollar investment in the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

At 6:17 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.25 points, or 0.08%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5.75 points, or 0.05%.

Data recently has pointed to some signs of inflation cooling but has also highlighted a tight labor market, which is key for the Federal Reserve to continue its aggressive rate-hiking cycle.

Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) climbed around 2% each, after brokerage Barclays upgraded the chipmakers to “overweight” from “equal-weight”.

Payments firm PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) fell 2.1% after Germany’s cartel office regulator said it had initiated proceedings against PayPal Europe over possible hindrance against competitors.