Stock futures rise, helped by Nike and FedEx earnings

Mortgage loan demand jumps 6%

Mortgage applications for refinancing rose 6% last week as interest rates fell to their lowest level since September, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

Meanwhile, volume is 85% lower than the same week last year.

At the same time, home purchase applications fell 0.1% for the week and were 36% lower than the same period a year ago.

— Samantha Subin

Analysts are growing bullish on Nike

Wall Street analysts are growing bullish on Nike following the release of the apparel giant’s latest quarterly results.

UBS analyst Jay Soule named Nike his top pick for 2023, saying the company’s growth potential is undervalued. He reiterated a buy rating on the stock.

“Nike’s investments in product innovation, supply chain speed and digital unlocking are unlocking a likely multi-year period of above-average growth.” Plus, we believe Nike has the brand strength, strategy, skills and resources to outperform its competitors during a recession,” Sole wrote.

CNBC Pro subscribers you can read the full story here.

— Sarah Min

European markets edge higher as investor sentiment improves

European markets advanced on Wednesday, reversing a negative trend seen in the previous trading session.

The Stoxx 600 index was up 0.6% in early trade with nearly all sectors and major bourses in the green. Retail stocks led the way up 2.2 percent, followed by financial services, which rose 1.2 percent.

Don’t count out a year-end rally just yet, says Carson Group’s Detrick

Many investors’ hopes for a year-end rally were at least briefly dashed ahead of Tuesday’s rally, but there’s still time, according to Carson Group chief market strategist Ryan Detrick.

One point about so-called “Santa rallies” that has been misunderstood is that they are held on the last five days of the year and the first two days of the new year, he pointed out on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Tuesday.

The average return for those seven days is 1.33% and ends higher almost 80% of the time, he added.

“There’s no seven days of the year they’re more likely to finish higher,” he said. “Anything can happen with that weakness that we had and the oversold feeling that we had. We still believe there is a chance Santa will come to town and come this Friday.”

— Tanaya Machel

Shares of Nike, FedEx jumped in extended trade

Nike and FedEx were among the top movers after hours after their quarterly results.

Nike shares jumped more than 12% after the sportswear and footwear maker easy to cover earnings and revenue forecasts for the last quarter. That gave a boost to other sports stocks. Under Armor gained more than 2% after hours, Skechers climbed 2% and Lululemon added 1.75%.

Meanwhile, FedEx’s performance was less impressive, but investors cheered the package delivery giant “aggressive” cost-cutting measures. Earnings beat expectations, but fell compared to the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter missed estimates. FedEx shares rose nearly 4% after hours.

— Tanaya Machel

Stock futures open higher

Stock futures opened higher on Tuesday night, helped by earnings from Nike and FedEx.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 110 points, or 0.33%. S&P 500 futures added 0.23 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.31 percent.

— Tanaya Machel

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