Wednesday June 10th


Stock futures rise ahead of Federal Reserve update, tech shares set for more gains

U.S. stock index futures rose marginally Wednesday as investors awaited an update from the Federal Reserve on the state of the economy and status of any further stimulus from the central bank. Dow Jones Industrial average futures gained 2 points, or less than 0.1%. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.2% while Nasdaq-100 futures advanced 0.8% as investors continued their rotation back into the technology stocks that led the start of the market’s comeback from its March coronavirus lows. The Nasdaq Composite Index hit a record on Tuesday. Shares of Amazon and Apple gained around 1% in premarket trading Wednesday, putting them on pace to hit fresh record highs at the open. Facebook and Netflix each climbed 0.9%. The Dow and S&P 500 were under pressure on Tuesday as stocks benefiting from the economic reopening fell broadly. The Dow fell 300 points or 1.1%, snapping a 6-day winning streak. The 30-stock average was dragged down by a 5.9% drop in Boeing. The S&P 500 lost 0.8% on Tuesday. The index briefly turned positive for the year on Monday. “After such a ferocious run in recent weeks, the stock market was overdue for a correction or at least a pause,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, told CNBC. “Upside price momentum was becoming extreme and sentiment indicators a bit too bullish. Profit-taking won over [Tuesday], particularly in those economically sensitive area which have done the best in recent weeks.” The Nasdaq Composite was the outperformer, closing at an all-time record high, as investors piled back into technology darlings. The index jumped 0.3% on Tuesday. Big gains in Facebook, Amazon Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite over the 10,000 threshold for the first time ever; however, it closed below this level. “Being overweight stocks most sensitive to an economic revival worked well in recent weeks but not earlier in the year and not today,” added Paulsen. “Alternatively, owning high-growth, new-era stocks worked well earlier in the year and did very well today but not in the last couple weeks.” The Federal Open Market Committee started its two-day meeting Tuesday with markets watching for news on several fronts. The central bank is unlikely to make any major policy changes, with its benchmark rate near zero and the asset purchasing programs continuing. However, investors will be watching for thoughts on possibly implementing yield caps and strengthening forward guidance on how long the Fed will keep current policies in place. “I don’t think the Fed is going to back off at all here,” said Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates trading at AmeriVet Securities. “This is a longer-term endeavor. We think rates are going to be on hold here for a long period of time. And, when you look at some of their programs, they’re just getting these lending facilities up and running.” The meeting concludes Wednesday with the release of a policy statement and the quarterly summary of economic projections, then Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference at 2:30 pm EST. The Fed will be revealing its first forecast for the economy and interest rates since late last year, as it skipped a forecast in March just as the pandemic forced the abrupt shutdown of the economy. Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, as Chinese inflation data for May missed expectations. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.15% higher at 23,124.95 while the Topix index declined 0.23% to finish its trading day at 1,624.71. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.31% higher at 2,195.69. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was fractionally lower, as of its final hour of trading. Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.42% to around 2,943.75 while the Shenzhen component added 0.457% to about 11,335.86. Oil fell more than 2% towards $40 a barrel on Wednesday after a report showed a rise in crude inventories in the United States, reviving concerns about oversupply and weak demand due to the coronavirus crisis. The report from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said crude stocks rose by 8.4 million barrels, rather than falling as analysts forecast. The U.S. government’s official stocks figures are due out later on Wednesday. Brent crude was down 82 cents, or 2%, to trade at $40.36 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate dropped 99 cents, or 2.5%, to trade at $37.95 per barrel. Gold extended gains on Wednesday as global equity markets eased after a recent rally, while U.S. Treasury yields dropped ahead of the outcome of the Federal  Reserve’s meeting that is expected to shed light on the state of  the economy and further stimulus. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,715.43 per ounce, as of  0248 GMT, after posting its best day in a month on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures also edged up 0.1% to $1,723.60.