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Dow futures drop after Fed signals more hikes ahead; retail sales due

Published 06/14/2023, 07:44 PM
Updated 06/15/2023, 07:23 AM
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Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures edged lower Thursday as investors digested the outcome of the latest Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting, ahead of the release of a plethora of economic data.

By 06:50 ET (10:50 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 85 points or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 20 points or 0.5% lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 110 points or 0.7%.

The main Wall Street indices closed in a mixed fashion Wednesday after the Fed paused its year-long rate-hiking cycle, but also signaled the likelihood of more interest rate increases ahead. 

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 230 points or 0.7%. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.1%, its fifth consecutive positive session and its longest winning streak since November 2021, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%, climbing to its highest levels since April last year.

Economic data now becomes crucial

The U.S. central bank announced on Wednesday its first pause in interest rate hikes in over a year, but also projected two further hikes in the pipeline, lifting its forecast for a terminal Fed funds rate of 5.6%, 50 basis points higher than March's forecast.  

Yet, despite the outlook, Chair Jerome Powell said the future rate decisions would be made on a meeting-by-meeting basis, putting upcoming economic data firmly in the spotlight as these numbers will likely guide the central bank officials on future actions.

Thursday’s main release will be retail sales for May, as a guide on how consumers are coping with the high prices and interest rate increases. Analysts are expecting year-over-year gains of 2.2% and a monthly downtick of 0.1%.

Investors will also be closely monitoring import and export price data, NY Empire State and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing indexes, business inventories and industrial production.

Lennar gains after seeing strong housing demand

In corporate news, earnings are due from companies including Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), Kroger Company (NYSE:KR), Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL), John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY) and Aurora Mobile (NASDAQ:JG).

Additionally, Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) stock rose nearly 3% premarket after the Miami-based homebuilder raised its full-year forecast for home deliveries, benefiting from pent-up demand and the lack of existing home inventory.

"As consumers have come to accept a ‘new normal’ range for interest rates, demand has accelerated, leaving the market to reconcile the chronic supply shortage derived from over a decade of production deficits," said Stuart Miller, executive chairman at Lennar.

Oil market bounces on China’s rate cut

Crude prices rebounded Thursday after the previous session’s selloff, helped by an interest rate cut by China’s central bank to shore up the struggling economy of the world’s largest crude importer.

By 06:50 ET, U.S. crude futures were 1% higher at $68.97 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1% to $73.95 per barrel.

However, both benchmarks are on course for substantial losses this week, amid persistent concerns over slowing global crude demand and overheated supply.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) has joined the deluge of banks cutting oil price forecasts for this year as it sees global supply growth offsetting a record rise in demand. It reduced its average Brent price forecast for 2023 to $81 per barrel from $90 earlier and for West Texas Intermediate to $76 a barrel from $84.

Additionally, gold futures fell 1.1% to $1,946.55/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0842.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

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