By Ankika Biswas and Devik Jain (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Wednesday after a sharp selloff on Wall Street in the previous session on rate hike jitters, while investors waited for more inflation data for cues on the pace of monetary policy tightening. The three major U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday notched […]
Futures slip after rout on Wall Street
By Ankika Biswas and Devik Jain
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Wednesday after a sharp selloff on Wall Street in the previous session on rate hike jitters, while investors waited for more inflation data for cues on the pace of monetary policy tightening.
The three major U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday notched their biggest one-day percentage declines since June 2020 after an unexpectedly hot consumer price index report cemented bets that the Federal Reserve would go ahead with the third straight 75 basis points increase in rates next week.
Markets are currently pricing in a 37% chance of a massive 100 bps increase by the central bank, a view echoed by analysts at Nomura, and expects rates to peak at 4.34% by March 2023.
“The equity markets are presently in no-man’s land. Any better macro news to support earnings (ISMs, Jobs) is discounted as the need for further tightening to quash growth, while CPI prints are not declining fast enough – further evidence that the Fed is behind the curve,” Sean Darby, global equity strategist at Jefferies wrote in a note.
“The June lows have not been broken… although our inclination is still towards a ‘profit or growth recession’.”
Stocks had rallied ahead of the inflation data as easing commodity prices, especially oil, had raised hopes the Fed would scale back its aggressive policy tightening even as policymakers reiterated their determination to bring inflation to their 2% target through rate hikes.
Focus turns to producer price index data due at 08:30 a.m. ET, which is seen decelerating to 8.8% year-on-year in August, from a 9.8% rise in July. It will be followed by monthly retail sales data on Thursday. Growing expectations for a more hawkish Fed are an unwelcome development for a market already contending with worries that the central bank’s efforts to tame inflation could tip the economy into a recession.
September, which is a seasonally-weak period for markets, will also see the Fed ramp up the unwinding of its balance sheet to $95 billion per month, a move some investors worry may add volatility in markets and weigh on the economy.
“With the federal funds rate poised to be above 3% after next week’s meeting and QT running at full speed, Fed officials may finally start to feel that the pace of tightening can moderate in Q4 and beyond,” Wells Fargo economists wrote in a note.
“That said, there is a big difference between slowing the pace of tightening and a full-blown policy pivot.”
At 07:56 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 41 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.11%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 22.25 points, or 0.18%.
The CBOE volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose to 27.51 points, inching closer to a two-month high hit on Tuesday.
Rate-sensitive shares of technology and growth companies such as Tesla Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com, Meta Platforms, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp were mixed in premarket trading after leading declines on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Devik Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)