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Dow futures fall sharply after Fed points to higher rates

Published Sep 21, 2023 06:42
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Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures traded lower Thursday, continuing to retreat after the Federal Reserve signaled it will keep interest rates higher for longer, including one more increase this year.

By 06:35 ET (10:35 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 170 points, or 0.5%, S&P 500 Futures traded 30 points, or 0.7%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 120 points, or 0.8%.

The main indices closed lower on Wall Street Wednesday, as the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped just over 75 points, or 0.2%, the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite especially hard hit, falling 1.5%. 

Fed takes a hawkish stance

The U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday, but still forecast another hike of 25 basis points before the year’s end. 

Additionally, the U.S. central bank updated its quarterly projections showing interest rates falling only 50 basis points in 2024 compared to the 100 bps of cuts suggested at the meeting in June.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) now expects the Fed to begin its interest rate-cutting cycle in the fourth quarter of next year, later than an earlier forecast of a cut in the second quarter.

"Today, participants appeared to move away from the view that monetary policy tightening could weigh on growth with a long lag next year, which weakens one argument for cutting," Goldman Sachs said, in a note.

"We think this means that inflation will have to fall further than we previously assumed for the FOMC to cut."

While there isn’t inflation data for investors to digest today, weekly jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index will attract interest before the opening bell, and existing home sales later in the session.

Varied central bank decisions in Europe

In Europe, Sweden’s Riksbank and the Norges Bank hiked interest rates as expected, while the Swiss National Bank kept its main policy rate unchanged at 1.75%, ending its run of five consecutive increases since it began lifting rates out of negative territory in June 2022.

The Bank of England faces a finely balanced call on whether to hike again or pause its prolonged hiking cycle later in the session.

FedEx soars on guidance lift

In corporate news, earnings are due from Darden (NYSE:DRI) Restaurant, owner of the Olive Garden and other chains, and the retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD).

Additionally, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) stock soared over 5% premarket after the delivery company lifted its annual earnings guidance, while marketing automation firm Klaviyo (NYSE:KVYO) slipped premarket after a strong debut on Wednesday.

Crude hit by Fed stance

Oil prices dropped sharply Thursday, pulling further back from recent highs after the Fed’s warning on higher U.S. interest rates raised concerns of a further hit to economic activity, potentially denting crude demand.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, released on Wednesday, showed crude inventories fell just over 2 million barrels last week, well short of the 5.25 million barrel drop the industry body American Petroleum Institute had reported a day earlier.

The Fed’s hawkish stance also led to the U.S. dollar surging to its highest since early March, making commodities such as oil which are denominated in dollars more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

By 06:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1% lower at $88.75 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1% to $92.57.

Additionally, gold futures fell 1.1% to $1,945.20/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0655.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

 

Dow futures fall sharply after Fed points to higher rates
 

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