Stock market today: Wall Street rises in premarket as bond markets stabilize and earnings roll in

Wall Street pointed higher in premarket trading Thursday as bond markets stabilized and more corporate earnings trickled in.

Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% before the bell.

Alaska Air, the carrier that suffered a midflight blowout of a door plug on a Boeing aircraft in January, took a $162 million hit in its most recent quarter after it grounded its entire Boeing 737 Max fleet, but it projected better-than-expected profits the current quarter. Its losses for the most recent quarter shrank as well, and shares rose more than 1% early Thursday.

Boeing has provided the airline with $162 million in compensation so far, and it said Thursday that it would have turned an adjusted profit of about $5 million if it did not ground its Max jets.

Credit reporting company Equifax slid 9.5% after it reported sales that narrowly missed Wall Street first quarter sales targets. A lower forecast for the current quarter sent investors to the exits.

Bond markets have stabilized since Tuesday when Treasury yields climbed on rising expectations that interest rates may stay high for a while.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury held at Wednesday’s level of 4.94%. The yield on the 10-year also came down modestly, to 4.58% from 4.59% on Wednesday.

Traders are now mostly expecting just one or two cuts to interest rates from the Federal Reserve this year, according to data from CME Group. That’s down from forecasts for six or more at the start of the year.

With little near-term help expected from an easing of interest rates, companies will need to deliver fatter profits to justify their big runs in stock price since autumn.

Streaming giant Netflix reports first quarter financial results after the bell Thursday.

In Europe at midday, the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.4%, while London’s FTSE 100 edged 0.2% higher. Germany’s DAX was unchanged.

Shares were higher across the board in Asian trading.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.3% to 38,079.70, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.8% to 16,468.07.

The Shanghai Composite index added 0.1% to 3,074.22.

South Korea’s Kospi led the region’s gains, surging 2% to 2,634.70, while in Australia, the S&P/ASX 500 rose 0.5% to 7,642.10.

In oil trading, U.S. benchmark crude shed 36 cents to $82.33 per barrel. It lost $2.67 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 44 cents to $86.85 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose 154.40 Japanese yen from 154.38 yen. The euro rose to $1.0675 from $1.0673.

On Wednesday, tech stocks slumped after ASML, a Dutch company that’s a major supplier to the semiconductor industry, reported weaker orders for the start of 2024 than analysts expected.

The weakness for tech overshadowed stronger-than-expected profit reports from some big companies, including United Airlines.

The S&P 500 lost 0.6%, its fourth straight decline. It’s down 4.4% since setting a record late last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%, and the Nasdaq composite sank 1.1%.

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