Stock Futures Falter as Post-Fed Rally Fades

Stock Futures Falter as Post-Fed Rally Fades

U.S. stock futures and global indexes slumped, suggesting Wall Street’s post-Fed meeting rally wasn’t set to last. 

Futures tied to the S&P 500 dropped 2.1% on Thursday, a day after the broad index rallied 1.5% to halt a five-day losing streak. Blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures lost 1.8% while Nasdaq-100 futures plummeted 2.5%, putting technology stocks on course for steep losses after the opening bell. 

Overseas, European indexes opened sharply lower. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 1.9% with sharp losses for rate-sensitive technology firms and economically sensitive retail stocks. In Asia, indexes were more mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 rising 0.4% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.2%. 

Ahead of the opening bell, shares of tech firms dropped, with

Nvidia,

Amazon

and

Microsoft

each falling 2.7% or more.

Twitter

shares were an exception, rising 2.6% after The Wall Street Journal reported that

Tesla

chief executive

Elon Musk

is expected to confirm that he wants to buy the social-media company when he speaks to its employees Thursday. 

The Fed on Wednesday raised its benchmark rate by 0.75 percentage points, its largest hike in almost three decades, as it races to get rampant inflation under control. While the largely expected move prompted a rally on Wall Street as investors welcomed the effort to quell inflation, that optimism fizzled Thursday as investors contemplated the danger posed to the economy following years of low rates and tepid consumer price increases. 

“The market is grappling with the reality that there is a regime change going on,” said Aoifinn Devitt, chief investment officer at Moneta. “Investors are either worried about inflation or they are worried about the Fed crushing the economy.”

Fed Chairman

Jerome Powell

suggested Wednesday that the “unusually large” rate rise wouldn’t become common, but he left the door open to another 0.75-percentage-point increase as soon as next month. 

Interest-rate increases of that size could unsettle investors if they feel the Fed is racing too quickly to get ahead of inflation, Ms. Devitt said. “That may lead to even more anxiety in the market,” she said. 

Global central banks are also rushing to tighten policy faced with similar economic woes. The Swiss central bank Thursday surprised analysts by hiking interest rates by 0.5 percentage point to negative 0.25%. Economists had been expecting bank officials to leave rates unchanged. 

Later Thursday, the Bank of England is expected to raise its key interest rate to 1.25% from 1%, which would be its fifth move in five meetings.

The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasurys rose to 3.400% from 3.389% on Wednesday.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a basket of its peers, edged up 0.1%.

In commodity markets, Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, edged down 0.5% to $118.00 a barrel. Gold prices rose 0.8%.

Weekly jobless claims data, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, are expected to show that 220,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended June 11. The jobs market has been an area of strength for the economy, but Fed officials have signaled that weaker employment figures may be a necessary consequence of the central bank’s effort to control inflation.

Stocks on Wall Street advanced on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision.



Photo:

justin lane/Shutterstock

Write to Will Horner at [email protected]

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