Trading in the major U.S. index futures points to a lackluster start by Wall Street on Wednesday but tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures are clocking significant gains.
On Tuesday, the major U.S. averages teased optimism, only to disappoint. After a firmer start, the major indices squandered the advantage and fell sharply in the first hour of trading, consolidating around these lower levels for the rest of the session. The markets were reacting to data showing a slower pace of house price increases and an improvement in consumer confidence.
“The goldilocks scenario which underpinned markets for so long have, especially following Jerome Powell’s comments at Jackson Hole, now make positive economic data practically toxic,” LPL Financial’s chief global strategist Quincy Crosby said in a note.
All major S&P sectors closed in the red, with energy stocks pacing the declines, reflecting a 5.5% plunge in WTI crude oil prices. Industrials, material, real estate and utility stocks also came under significant selling pressure.
With the third straight session of losses, the major averages pulled back to their lowest level in about five weeks.
|S&P 500 Index
Here’s a peek into index futures trading:
|Nasdaq 100 Futures
|S&P 500 Futures
On the economic front, ADP’s private payrolls report for August is due at 8:15 a.m. ET. In July, private payrolls expanded by 128,000. Although the private payroll numbers from ADP’s survey and the labor department’s non-farm payrolls survey are not always in sync, Wednesday’s data could be taken as an indicative trend for the NFP numbers.
Given the recent plunge in crude oil prices, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly crude oil inventories report, due at 10:30 a.m. ET, could create a stir in the energy market.
Also in the spotlight are a couple of Fed speeches. Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester is scheduled to speak at 8 a.m. ET and Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic would speak on fintech after the market closes.
The results of a regional manufacturing survey from the Chicago region are scheduled to be released at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Among the noteworthy earnings scheduled for the day are those from SaaS companies Nutanix, Inc. NTNX, Okta, Inc. OKTA and MongoDB, Inc. MDB, cybersecurity provider SentinelOne, Inc. S and retailer Five Below, Inc. FIVE.
The Asian markets closed mostly lower, taking inspiration from the negative lead from Wall Street overnight. China led the declines in the region, stung by data showing continued contraction in factory activity, while Hong Kong ended nearly flat with a slight upside bias. The South Korean, Taiwanese, and Indonesian markets posted modest gains.
European stocks ignored a modestly positive start and turned lower. In early trading, the major averages were firmly in the red.
Crude oil futures are sharply lower for a second straight day and were last seen about 3% lower.
In premarket trading on Wednesday, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was rising 0.2% to $399 and the Invesco QQQ TrustQQQ was moving up 0.66% to $303.02, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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