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Stock Market Today: Futures turn south ahead of US data

by FX BrokerNews
  • US stock index futures trade in negative territory on Wednesday.
  • US economic calendar will feature Q4 GDP revision.
  • PCE inflation and Jobless Claims data will be released on Thursday.

S&P 500 futures are down by 0.33%, Dow Jones futures have experienced a 0.35% decline, and Nasdaq futures show a loss of 0.38%.

As of Tuesday’s close, the S&P 500 (SPX) index recorded a modest gain of 0.17%, while the Dow Jones (DJIA) index witnessed a 0.25% dip, and the Nasdaq (IXIC) index saw an increase of 0.37%.

What to know before stock market opens

On Tuesday, the Utilities Sector saw a notable uptick of 1.9%, securing its position as the top-performing sector for the day. Following closely was the Communication Services Sector, which experienced a 1% increase. Despite recovering from daily lows, the Energy Sector faced a setback, losing 0.43%.

Standout performers for the day were Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) and Carnival Corp. (CCL). NCLH surged by an impressive 19.8%, while CCL showed a substantial gain of nearly 17%. On the flip side, Tuesday’s underperformer was Workday Inc. (WDAY), a NASDAQ-listed company, which slipped by 4% to reach $295.05 at the closing bell.

Analyzing the latest market developments, Jim Reid, global head of economics and thematic research at Deutsche Bank, commented, “In the equity realm, we observed modest movements, with the S&P 500 (+0.17%) finishing just below its all-time high. The index has been trading within a narrow range since the Nvidia results last week. Currently down -0.21% for the week, it needs a slight recovery to achieve a joint record of 16 weekly advances in the last 18 (currently at 15/17, a feat not seen since 1989).”

Reid continued, “Small-cap stocks continued their outperformance, with the Russell 2000 up +1.34%, contrasting with the Dow Jones, which saw a decline of -0.25%. Tech stocks showed a marginal outperformance, with the NASDAQ up +0.37% and the Magnificent 7 up +0.22%. The closure of Apple’s electric car unit, established in 2014, announced yesterday, underscores the shifting trends. The move, partly driven by a redirection of resources to AI, highlights how industry dynamics can evolve.”

Eyes on GDP revision ahead of PCE inflation report

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis is set to unveil the second estimate of fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth on Wednesday. Market participants will closely analyze the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index on Thursday, a key inflation metric favored by the Federal Reserve (Fed).

Thursday’s economic calendar will also highlight the weekly Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending February 24, with forecasts indicating a rise to 210,000 from the previous week’s 201,000.

A report from the US Census Bureau on Wednesday revealed a 6.1% decline in Durable Goods Orders, amounting to a $18 billion drop to $276.7 billion in January. This contraction, following December’s 0.3% decrease, was more significant than the market’s anticipated 4.5% decline.

Later in the session, New York Fed President John Williams is scheduled to speak. Williams previously stated on Friday his expectation for the US central bank to commence lowering the policy rate in the second half of the year.

Market expectations, as per the CME FedWatch Tool, currently indicate almost full pricing for no change in the Fed policy rate in March, with an 85% probability of another pause in May.

Quarterly earnings reports after Wednesday’s closing bell will include releases from top companies such as Salesforce Inc. (CRM), Snowflake Inc. (SNOW), and Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST).

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