Monday October 31st


Stock futures slide on Monday with the Dow on track for best month since 1976

U.S. stock markets index futures were lower early on Monday morning ahead of the final day of October, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average poised to clinch its best month in decades. S&P 500 futures were 0.5% lower, while Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.6%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shed 140 points, or 0.4%. The Dow is up 14.4% in October, which would be its best month since 1976. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are also up for the month, putting Wall Street on track to snap a two-month losing streak. The gains have come despite a mixed third-quarter earnings season from major companies, which has shown slowing growth and a few major disappointments from large tech companies. The season continues with Uber, Pfizer and Advanced Micro Devices among the biggest names to report. Traders are preparing this for the latest Federal Reserve meeting beginning Tuesday. The central bank is expected to hike rates by three quarters of a percentage again on Wednesday, but many on Wall Street are looking for a signal from the statement or Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference that the Fed could pause its hikes in the near future. This, and economic data due out later this week, could threaten the recent market rally. “We primarily attribute the S&P 500′s sharp +9% rebound over the past 10 trading days to seemingly never-ending hopes for a ‘Fed pivot,’ which [the] market is apparently defining as a +75bps hike this week followed by a +50bps move in December,” said Wolfe Research’s Chris Senyek in a note to clients Monday. “Our sense is that investors are more likely than not to be disappointed on Wednesday afternoon.” Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Monday as China factory activity missed expectations, and markets look ahead to the U.S. Fed meeting later this week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.18% in its final hour of trade while gaming stocks rebounded following news of an e-visa system for mainland Chinese visitors to Macao. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.77% at 2,893.48 and the Shenzhen Component closed fractionally lower at 10,397.04. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.78% to close at 27,587.46, the highest level since Sept. 20 and the Topix gained 1.6% to close at 1,929.43. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.11% to close at 2,293.61. Oil prices fell by more than $1 on Monday after weaker than expected factory activity data out of China and on concerns that the country’s widening COVID-19 curbs will curtail demand. Brent crude futures dropped $1.17, or 1.2%, to $94.60 a barrel by 0900 GMT, extending Friday’s 1.2% decline. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $1.25, or 1.4%, at $86.65 after losing 1.3% on Friday. Both benchmarks, however, are on track for their first monthly gains since May. Gold slipped on Monday en route to its seventh straight monthly decline, hurt by a stronger dollar and elevated U.S. bond yields, while markets looked forward to this week’s Federal Reserve meeting for more clarity on its rate-hike path. Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,638.15 per ounce by 0926 GMT, and down 1.3% for the month. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,641.10.