Wednesday September 21st


Stock futures rise slightly ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike

U.S. stock markets index futures rose slightly Wednesday as traders looked ahead to a potential interest rate hike announcement from the Federal Reserve later in the day. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 117 points, or 0.38%. S&P 500 futures also climbed 0.35%, and Nasdaq 100 futures traded just above the flatline. The central bank on Wednesday is expected to deliver its third consecutive 0.75 percentage point rate hike to tame high inflation. A higher-than-expected consumer price index reading in August and hawkish comments on rate hikes from Fed leaders have weighed on stocks, with more pressure likely ahead as the central bank continues to fight inflation. Investors will be monitoring the central bank’s longer-term projections and comments from Chairman Jerome Powell for insight into how much more interest rates can go up and how that could impact economic growth. “Our sense is that markets could be set up for a short-lived relief rally if the Fed hikes by +75bps and Powell doesn’t ratchet up his hawkish rhetoric even further,” wrote Wolfe Research’s Chris Senyek in a note to clients. “That said, we don’t anticipate having to change our intermediate-term bearish call.” Earnings results from Lennar, KB Homes, and Steelcase are also slated for release Wednesday. General Mills’ stock gained more than 2% in the premarket as it upped its full-year outlook. Existing home sales are due out Wednesday morning. Treasury yields dipped Wednesday after reaching levels not seen in more than a decade. The 2-year rate, which touched its highest level since 2007 in the previous session, was last down about 2 basis points at 3.948%. The benchmark 10-year yield slipped to 3.54% after hitting its highest level since 2011. Stocks fell Tuesday, the first day of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting. The Dow shed 1.01%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.13% and 0.95%, respectively. Shares in the Asia-Pacific traded lower Wednesday, following Wall Street’s negative lead ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected rate hike. Oil prices rallied in Asia’s afternoon after Russian president, Vladimir Putin, announced a partial military mobilization. The Nikkei 225 in Japan dropped 1.36% to 27,313.13, while the Topix index also fell 1.36% to 1,920.80. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 1.56% to 6,700.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6% in the final hour of trade, and the Hang Seng Tech index dropped 2.7%. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.17% to 3,117.18 and the Shenzhen Component was 0.668% lower at 11,208.51. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.87% to 2,347.21. Oil jumped more than 2% on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, escalating the war in Ukraine and raising concerns of tighter oil and gas supply. Brent crude futures rose $2.17, or 2.4%, to $92.79 a barrel after falling $1.38 the previous day. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $86.05 a barrel, up $2.10, or 2.5%. Gold rose on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization announcement re-ignited some safe-haven interest in bullion, although a strong dollar and expected U.S. rate hikes capped gains. Spot gold was up 0.6% at $1,673.19 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,681.70.