Wednesday December 28th


Stock futures climb fractionally as investors look to new year

U.S. stock market index futures climbed fractionally Wednesday morning as traders look to the end of a losing year and prepare for 2023. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 91 points, or 0.27%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.25% and 0.2%, respectively. Investors will look for insights into the state of the economy in manufacturing data from the Richmond Federal Reserve and pending home sales coming Wednesday morning. Market participants will be looking for numbers that can signal the economy is cooling, which they hope could indicate to the Fed that interest rate hikes can continue slowing. Tuesday kicked off the start of a holiday-shortened trading week. The Dow rose 37.63 points, or 0.11%, to close at 33,241.56. The S&P 500 fell 0.40%. The Nasdaq Composite shed nearly 1.4%, driven down by an 11% drop in Tesla stock after The Wall Street Journal reported that the electric vehicle maker would continue a weeklong production pause at a Shanghai facility. Tuesday marked the seventh straight day of losses for the stock. It comes at the end of a tumultuous year for the electric-vehicle maker as owner Elon Musk executed a chaotic purchase of Twitter. Tesla’s share value is down 69% this year. “A year ago, Musk was a hero and there was panic buying to the upside,” said Eric Jackson, founder of EMJ Capital, on “Closing Bell: Overtime.” “Right now ... it’s panic selling.” With three trading days left in 2022, the stock market is on track for its worst year since 2008. The Nasdaq has performed the worst of the three indexes, losing 33.8% this year as investors rotated out of growth stocks amid rising recession fears. The Dow and S&P 500 are on track to lose 8.5% and 19.7%, respectively. Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed after Wall Street’s losses overnight as investors weighed headwinds for the economy in 2023. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.56% to 19,898.91, leading gains in the region and bucking the wider trend as Chief Executive John Lee announced further easing of Covid measures in the city. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.26% lower at 3,087.4 and the Shenzhen Component fell 0.86% to 11,010.53. The offshore yuan was little changed and last stood at 6.707 against the U.S. dollar. In South Korea, the Kospi fell 2.12% to 2,280.45 as stocks of heavyweight chipmakers and battery manufacturers priced in the effects of ex-dividend, which shareholders would not be entitled to annual payouts for next year. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.30% to close at 7,086.4 after giving up earlier gains. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.41% at 26,340.5 and the Topix declined marginally to end at 1,909.02. Oil prices climbed on Wednesday as markets were optimistic about fuel demand recovery as China continues to ease its Covid restrictions. Brent futures for February delivery rose 31 cents to $84.64 a barrel, a 0.4% gain, by 0117 GMT. U.S. crude advanced 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $79.75 per barrel. Amid the optimistic market mood both benchmarks hit their highest level in three weeks on Tuesday. Gold prices eased on Wednesday pressured by an uptick in the U.S. dollar, having risen 2% in the previous session following China’s decision to further ease Covid restrictions. Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,809.58 per ounce as of 0037 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,818.50.