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Dow futures fall 85 pts; set for weakest annual performance since 2008

Published 12/30/2022, 06:37 AM
Updated 12/30/2022, 06:44 AM
© Reuters

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Friday, ending a rough year on a negative note as soaring inflation and the associated hefty interest rate increases have weighed heavily on the tech sector, in particular.

At 06:40 ET (11:40 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 85 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 10 points, or 0.3% lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 40 points, or 0.4%.

The three major averages closed higher Thursday, but are all set to post losses in December, snapping a two-month winning streak.

Additionally, all three indices are on course to post their worst yearly performance since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average is on track to drop over 8%, the broad-based S&P 500 set to lose 19%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is on course to fall over 33%.

Investors have rotated out of growth stocks on concerns that the aggressive monetary tightening the Federal Reserve has undertaken to try and curb inflation at 40-year highs will lead to a severe economic slowdown.

Data released Thursday showed that the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance rose last week to 225,000, up from an unrevised 216,000 in the prior week, while new research from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank said that just over half of the 50 U.S. states are exhibiting signs of slowing economic activity.

Chicago PMI data for December is due later Friday, and is expected to show a small improvement from November.

In the corporate sector, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is likely to remain in the spotlight Friday after the carrier said it plans to return to normal operations with minimal disruptions, although the thousands of canceled flights will “certainly” hit its fourth-quarter results.

However, the Biden administration said Thursday the airline will be held "accountable" if it fails to fulfill commitments to customers for "controllable delays and cancellations."

Oil prices edged higher Friday, bouncing after the previous session’s losses, on course to end the year with modest gains.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by a modest 718,000 barrels last week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, released on Thursday.

This increase came as something of a surprise after the industry body American Petroleum Institute had reported the previous day a drop of 1.3 million barrels.

By 06:40 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $78.44 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.2% to $83.61.

However, the U.S. contract is on course to record a gain of 4.5% in 2022 and Brent an increase of 7.6%, in a year marked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sparked supply concerns.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,824.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% higher to 1.0697.

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