Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday as investors assessed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish commentary and looked forward to key economic data next week for more cues on the monetary policy path.
Powell on Thursday said central bank officials “are not confident” that interest rates are yet high enough to finish the battle with inflation and would not hesitate to tighten policy further if needed.
The hawkish comments ended a strong run of gains on Wall Street which had been driven by expectations that the Fed was done with its hiking cycle after the central bank kept rates unchanged at its last meeting.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq snapped their longest winning streak in two years in the previous session.
“The comments yesterday were such that the theme of ‘higher for longer’ is more likely to manifest. That’s the downside,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer at AXS Investments.
“On the positive side, investors have seen strong earnings and a resilient economy. So all eyes are focused on any other economic data or Fed comments that could give better feedback regarding the direction of both the economy and the markets going forward.”
Supporting equities on Friday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped to 4.5964% after an initial move higher.
Megacap growth stocks were mixed in premarket trading, with Nvidia up 0.9%, while Tesla slipped 0.6%.
Traders are now pricing in an about 66% chance of a rate cut by the Fed at the June meeting, compared with bets of a cut in May before Powell spoke, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
While this week has been light in terms of economic data, investors will get reports on consumer and producer prices as well as retail sales next week, which will further shape interest rate expectations ahead of the Fed’s December meeting.
The University of Michigan is set to issue a preliminary reading on its consumer sentiment index for November at 10 a.m. ET.
At 8:21 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 101 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 12.25 points, or 0.28%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 27.75 points, or 0.18%.
Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 1.0% after the pharmacy chain operator further lowered its stake in Cencora by selling shares worth about $674 million.
Among other stocks, gaming software maker Unity Software fell 13.4% on missing third-quarter revenue estimates.
Plug Power plunged 36.3% after the hydrogen fuelcell maker raised going concern doubts.
Illumina shares dropped 13.4% premarket as the gene-testing company trimmed its full-year profit forecast for the second straight quarter.
Source : Zawya