Friday September 30th


S&P 500 futures rise to close out a miserable week, month and quarter

U.S. stock markets index futures rose Friday as traders tried to rebound from sharp selling this week that brought the S&P 500 to a new 2022 low. Futures tied to the S&P 500 were up 0.31%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 44 points, or 0.15%. Nasdaq 100 futures were 0.33% higher. An inflation report closely watched by the Federal Reserve released Friday showed that prices continued to increase at a rapid pace. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard on Friday underscored the need to bring down inflation, saying the central bank is “committed to avoiding pulling back prematurely” on restrictive monetary policy. Stock sold off Thursday, with the Dow losing more than 1% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each dropping more than 2% as investors weighed concerns over future rate-hiking decisions from the Federal Reserve and the impact on the market. Those losses put the major averages on pace for sharp weekly losses. The S&P 500 is off 1.4% for the week, while the Dow and the Nasdaq are each down 1.2%. This would mark the sixth negative week in seven for the indexes. “The market stinks,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group. “But that’s basically what the Fed wants: tighten financial conditions, and they believe that that will help bring down inflation to the levels that they find acceptable. And they’re using the transmission mechanism of the market to make that happen.” Friday also marked the last day of the month and the third quarter. For September, the S&P 500 and Dow are down more than 7% each through Thursday’s close. That would be the worst monthly performance for the Dow since March 2020 and the biggest one-month decline for the S&P 500 since June. The Nasdaq is headed for its biggest monthly loss since April, losing 9.1%. Quarter to date, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are headed for their first three-quarter losing streak since 2009, losing 3.8% and 2.6%, respectively. The Dow is down 5% in the third quarter and is on pace to post a third-straight losing quarter for the first time since 2015. Nike shares fell after the company reported that sales increased, but supply chain and inventory issues hampered the bottom line in its fiscal first quarter. Meanwhile, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ shares spiked after the Food and Drug Administration approved its drug for Lou Gehrig’s disease. August inflation data disappointed to the upside on Friday with a hotter-than-expected personal consumption expenditures reading, signaling that the Federal Reserve still has work to do to cool prices. The PCE price index rose 0.3% month over month, and 0.6% when excluding food and energy. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 0.5% monthly increase for core PCE. On a year over year basis, PCE rose 6.4%, and core PCE increased 5.0%. Meanwhile, personal income rose 0.3% in August, matching expectations, and consumer spending rose 0.4%. Personal spending rose 0.1% when controlled for inflation. Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on Friday, the last day of the third quarter, following another sell-off on Wall Street overnight. China’s official factory activity data unexpectedly expanded in August, beating estimates. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 1.83% to 25,937.21, and the Topix index fell 1.76% to 1,835.94. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.23% to 6,474.20. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was 0.27% higher in the final hour of trade, while the Hang Seng Tech index dropped 1.05%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.55% to 3,024.39, and the Shenzhen Component was 1.29% lower at 10,778.61. The Kospi in South Korea declined 0.71% to 2,155.49 and the Kosdaq shed 0.36% to 672.65. Oil prices were on track for their first weekly gain in five on Friday, underpinned by a weaker dollar and the possibility that OPEC+ will agree to cut crude output when it meets on Oct. 5. Brent crude futures for November, which expire on Friday, were flat at $88.49 per barrel. The more active December contract was down 27 cents at $86.91. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 17 cents, or 0.2, to $81.06. Both contracts rose by more than $1 earlier in the session but pared gains on news that OPEC+ narrowed the amount by which it was considering cutting output to between 500,000 and 1 million barrels per day (bpd), OPEC+ sources told Reuters. Gold prices, which gained on Friday as the dollar weakened, were on course for their worst quarter since March last year as central banks worldwide stick with aggressive monetary policies. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,662.77 per ounce by 8:07 am E.T. and has gained 1.4% so far this week. For the quarter it is down 7.8%, the most since the first quarter of 2021. U.S. gold futures added 0.17% to $1,671.9.