Thursday December 29th


S&P 500 futures rise as Wall Street heads into the final trading days of 2022

U.S. stock market index futures rose on Wednesday night, as investors head into the final trading days of 2022. Futures tied to the broad market index gained 0.4%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged higher by 76 points, or 0.2%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.6%. On Thursday, traders are expecting the latest data on weekly jobless claims before the bell. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are forecasting initial jobless claims to total 223,000 for the week ended Dec. 24, a rise from 216,000 during the previous period. The futures action follows a broad sell-off during the regular session Wednesday as recession fears weighed on investor sentiment in a losing week, month and year. The Dow lost 365.85 points, or 1.1%. The S&P 500 fell 1.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.35%. The major averages are headed toward their worst year since 2008. The Dow has lost 9.5%, while the S&P 500 shed 20.6%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is the worst performer, down 34.7% as investors dumped growth stocks. “Investors are anticipating an economic recession to materialize early in 2023, as evidenced by the three quarters of projected S&P 500 earnings declines and continued defensive sector leanings,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, wrote in a Wednesday note. “The severity of the recession remains in question. We expect it to be mild.” Asia-Pacific markets traded lower, taking the lead from Wall Street’s losses overnight as investors looked to the year ahead. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.94% to close at 26,093.67 while the Topix shed 0.72% to 1,895.27. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.93% to 2,236.4 as the country’s retail sales for November fell 1.8%, the third consecutive month of declines, reversing gains seen in the third quarter. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia also dropped 0.97% to close at 7,020.1. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.97% in its final hour of trade – despite further easing of Covid restrictions takes into effect today, with stocks related to re-opening being closely watched. The city will release its trade data later in the day. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite declined 0.44% to 3,073.7 and the Shenzhen Component traded lower to close at 10,996.4. Oil prices pared losses after falling by over $2 earlier in the session, as a weaker dollar partially offset demand fears resulting from surging COVID-19 cases in China. Brent futures for February fell 96 cents, or 1.15%, to $82.30 a barrel by 1208 GMT. The more active March contract fell 1.2% to $82.98/bbl, after falling by over $2 earlier in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $1.13, or 1.43%, to $77.83 a barrel, after reaching session lows of $76.79. Gold edged higher on Thursday helped by a dip in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields, although prices moved in a tight range as investors refrained from making large bets in anticipation of fresh market drivers. Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,806.19 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were slightly lower at $1,813.