Nasdaq futures jump more than 1% on Meta surge, Fed relief

Nasdaq futures jump more than 1% on Meta surge, Fed relief
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BENGALURU (Feb 2): Nasdaq futures jumped on Thursday (Feb 2) as Meta Platforms surged after announcing rigorous cost controls, while a dovish message from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell boosted bets of a softer landing for the US economy.

Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc jumped 18.9% in premarket trading after the company also announced a new US$40 billion share buyback and said it would cut costs in 2023 by US$5 billion to a range of US$89 billion to US$95 billion.

Shares of other growth companies including Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc and Inc rose between 1.1% and 4.3%. The three companies are slated to report quarterly results after market close.

Wall Street's main indexes got a boost in the previous session from Powell acknowledging that inflation was starting to ease after the US central bank raised rates by 25 basis points.

Although a US recession is widely priced in, Powell's comments aided hopes of it being a mild one.

After a bruising 2022, US stock markets have made a strong start to the year, with megacap companies gaining on hopes that the Fed will pull back from its hawkish monetary policy outlook, which in turn could ease some pressure off their valuations.

At 5.18am ET, Dow e-minis were down 45 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 20.75 points, or 0.5%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 179 points, or 1.44%.

A 0.2% decline in shares of drugmaker Merck & Co ahead of its quarterly report weighed on Dow futures.