Wednesday June 29th


S&P 500 futures are little changed as Wall Street tries to regain its footing

U.S. stock market index futures were mixed on Wednesday morning, after the major averages made a failed attempt at a bounce in the previous session, and as the market prepares to close out the worst first half of the year since 1970. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher by 31 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures were little changed and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.1%. Investors are still searching for the bottom of a vicious market sell-off as the second quarter comes to an end Thursday. Concern over a slowing economy and aggressive rate hikes consumed much of the first half of 2022, and fears of a recession fears are rising. “We expect significant volatility this summer, with ‘face-ripping’ short-covering rallies followed by economically-inspired market slumps,” Well Fargo senior equity analyst Christopher Harvey said in a note Wednesday. “While a much anticipated market ‘washout’ could catalyze a more sustained move higher, we think the market will not sustain a rally until it believes the Fed will toggle from a 50-75bp tightening to a more mundane 25bp increase.” The S&P 500, which is down about 20% in 2022, is on pace for its worst first half of the year since 1970, when the index lost 21.01%. Meanwhile, on a quarterly basis, both the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their worst performance since 2020. The Nasdaq is headed toward its worst three-month period since 2008. In early trading Wednesday, Carnival Corp slid 9% after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the stock in half and said it could potentially go to zero in the face of another demand shock. The call dragged other cruise stocks lower. Royal Carribean lost 4% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings fell 3%. Bed Bath & Beyond shares plummeted more than 14% after the company posted a huge miss on quarterly earnings and revenue expectations and announced its CEO is stepping down. Meanwhile, Pinterest shares jumped more than 4% on news that CEO Ben Silbermann is stepping down. General Mills shares rose more than 2% after the company topped earnings and revenue forecasts for its most recent quarter. Investors are looking ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the European Central Bank forum. Earnings from Bed Bath & Beyond, General Mills and McCormick are also on deck. Wednesday’s moves followed steep losses for the major averages the day before. The Dow fell more than 1.5% on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite slid 2% and 3%, respectively. The benchmarks all started the session with strong gains, but disappointing consumer confidence data halted those advances and sent stocks tumbling. “As long as the sell-off is orderly,” the Fed is “not concerned with the level of stock prices,” Guggenheim Partners’ Global CIO Scott Minerd told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Tuesday. “The bottom line is until we see some amount of panic here or something that gets the central bankers concerned, they are just ‘hellbent’ to get inflation under control.” Hong Kong shares led losses in Asia on Wednesday after Wall Street’s negative lead. Consumer confidence in South Korea and Japan fell, according to official surveys. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.88% to close at 21,996.89 while the Hang Seng Tech index dropped 3.27%. Alibaba’s stock in Hong Kong dropped 3.05% and Meituan fell 2.31%. In South Korea, the Kospi dropped 1.82% to 2,377.99, while the Kosdaq shed 0.93% to 726.35. South Korea’s consumer sentiment index fell, standing at 96.4 for June 2022, down 6.2 points from May’s print, according to Bank of Korea’s survey. The Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 0.91% to close at 26,804.6, and the Topix slipped 0.72% to 1,893.57. Mainland Chinese markets closed higher on Tuesday, but the Shanghai Composite slipped 1.4% to 3,361.52, and the Shenzhen Component declined 2.2% to 12,696.5 on Wednesday. Oil prices gained for a fourth straight session on Wednesday with tight supply worries offsetting concerns about a weaker global economy. Brent crude futures for August advanced 0.5% to $118.61. The August contract will expire on Thursday and the more-active September contract was at $114.06, up 23 cents, or 0.2%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures advanced 0.7% to $112.60 per barrel. Both contracts rose more than 2% on Tuesday as concerns over tight supplies due to Western sanctions on Russia outweighed fears of that demand may slow in a potential future recession. Gold prices treaded water on Wednesday as bullion struggled to break out of range-bound trading. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,824.92 per ounce. U.S. gold futures also gained 0.3% to $1,826.2. The U.S. dollar rose 0.1%, making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.