Wednesday August 31st


Stock futures tick higher as Wall Street tries to recover from third straight day of losses

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Wednesday after Wall Street’s losing streak stretched into its third day and endangered the market’s recent summer rebound. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.3%. Nasdaq 100 futures outperformed, advancing 0.5%. Shares of Chewy tumbled more than 11% in the premarket after the pet products retailer issued weak revenue guidance. HP Inc’s stock dipped 6% after the company missed revenue estimates. Investors have sold off heavily since Friday after hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Most recently, New York Fed President John Williams called for “somewhat restrictive policy to slow demand.” The sell-off on Wall Street rolled into Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding nearly 1%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.1%, and the S&P 500 slumped 1.1%, falling below the 4,000 mark for the first time since late July. All the major averages were on pace to finish August with losses. Despite Tuesday’s sell-off and hawkish Fed remarks, some investors are hopeful that the rate hiking cycle could be nearing its end. “We think we’re close to the end of this rate-hiking cycle, but it certainly depends on a lot of things,” Brenda Vingiello, chief investment officer of Sand Hill Global Advisors said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Tuesday. “No doubt the Fed’s gonna raise rates in September, and likely two more times this year, but they will have at that point done a lot and we will be in restrictive territory.” Wednesday is the last trading day of the month. The Dow and S&P 500 are both down more than 3% in August, while the Nasdaq has lost 4% in that time. China’s Shenzhen Component index led losses in mixed Asia-Pacific trade on Wednesday following a negative lead from Wall Street, and as investors digest China’s factory activity data. The Shenzhen Component in mainland China shed 1.295% to 11,815.79, and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China dipped 0.78% to 3,202.14. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index pared earlier losses and traded 0.11% higher in the final hour of trade, while the Hang Seng Tech index gained 0.84%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 0.37% to 28,091.53, and the Topix index slipped 0.27% to 1,963.16. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.16% to 6,986.80. In South Korea, the Kospi traded 0.86% higher to close at 2,472.05 while the Kosdaq was up 1.26% at 807.04. Oil prices continued to slide on Wednesday on investor worries about the ailing state of the global economy, the prospect of central bank interest rate hikes, and increased restrictions to curb Covid-19 in China. Brent crude futures for October, due to expire on Wednesday, were down $3.38 at $95.93 a barrel following Tuesday’s $5.78 loss. The more active November contract was down $2.70, or 2.76%, at $95.14 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $2.61, or 2.9%, at $89.03, after sliding $5.37 in the previous session on recession fears. Gold prices were set on Wednesday for a fifth straight monthly drop, as solid U.S. economic data and hawkish Federal Reserve comments pointed to more interest rate increases, denting the non-yielding metal’s appeal. Spot gold fell 0.7% to $1,711.10 per ounce, having hit its lowest level in about a month. Bullion has lost 3.2% so far in August. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.8% to $1,722.70.