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Equity futures are up slightly as fears of upcoming interest rate hikes increase

There is too much market optimism at the moment from a Fed break to pivot, says Liz Ann Sonders

Stock futures traded slightly higher on Monday evening as investors tried to shake off the previous session’s selloff.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 35 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both rose 0.1%.

Monday’s close marked a negative start to the trading week. The Nasdaq Composite led the decline, falling 1.93% to end the session at 11,239.94. The S&P 500 fell 1.79% to 3,998.84, followed by the Dow’s 1.4%, or 482.78 points, drop to 33,947.10.

Better-than-expected November ISM Services data, which looks at the level of purchases by manufacturers as an indicator of the health of the broader economy, pressured stocks. That’s because investors became increasingly wary that the Federal Reserve will have to raise interest rates longer than previously thought to achieve its intended goal of bringing down inflation.

The release is in line with the payrolls report late last week and points to a robust economy. But those pieces add to what Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at Solus Alternative Asset Management, called a more “mixed” bag of data that has given investors conflicting signals about the state of the economy.

Market observers still largely expect a rate hike of 50 basis points at the Fed’s December meeting. But Greenhaus said investors are divided on how long the central bank’s rate hike campaign will have to last, especially given the latest data showing the economy remains strong in some areas.

“From a market standpoint, I think you’re still struggling with the days when you move past the 75 basis point days,” Greenhaus said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.” “And now you’re really focusing on, ‘How high do we really have to go to get all the inflation down?'”

Investors will look to Tuesday morning’s data on international trade to gain insight into the strength of the US and global economy. Later in the day, they’ll be looking for earnings reports from Smith & Wesson and Stitch Fix.

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