Home Editor's Picks U.S. stock futures inch lower as traders eye payrolls, Powell testimony this week

U.S. stock futures inch lower as traders eye payrolls, Powell testimony this week


U.S. stock futures inch lower as traders eye payrolls, Powell testimony this week By Investing.com

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AuthorScott KanowskyStock Markets

Published Mar 04, 2024 07:42PM ET
Updated Mar 05, 2024 06:34AM ET

© Reuters.

Investing.com — U.S. stock index futures pointed lower on Tuesday, extending declines in Wall Street as uncertainty over the path of U.S. interest rates saw traders step back from recent record highs. 

S&P 500 futures dipped 0.3% to 5,124.50 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.6% to 18,252.0 points by 06:26 ET (11:26 GMT). Dow Jones Futures fell 0.1% to 38,984.00 points.

The main averages closed lower following choppy trading on Monday. The benchmark S&P 500 briefly touched intraday record highs thanks in part to a rally in chip stocks fueled by hype around the products that underpin artificial intelligence, although this momentum faded heading into the end of the session.

The S&P 500 lost 0.1% to finish at 5,130.95 points, while the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.4% to 16,207.51 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 0.3% to 38,989.83 points. However, all three indexes remained within sight of record highs hit last week. 

Powell, payrolls in focus for rate cut cues 

Markets were awaiting fresh cues on monetary policy from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is set to offer a two-day testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Analysts expect Powell to largely maintain a hawkish tilt and reiterate his stance that the central bank needs more convincing that inflation is nearing its annual 2% target.

Several Fed officials warned against bets on early rate cuts by the central bank, citing concerns over sticky inflation and resilience in the U.S. economy. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Monday that persistent bets on early Fed rate cuts could trigger an increase in inflationary pressures. 

Still, analysts expect that the Fed will have enough conviction by June to begin trimming rates. 

After Powell’s testimony, focus this week is also on key nonfarm payrolls data for February.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) slips on weak deliveries of China-made EVs 

Shares in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) slipped in premarket U.S. trading after the electric vehicle (EV) giant said shipments of its China-made cars had dropped to a 14-month low in February.

Deliveries of EVs made at Tesla’s plant in Shanghai declined by 19% year-on-year to 60,365, the lowest level since December 2022, likely due to disruptions caused by the Lunar New Year holidays.

The drop came as the firm engaged in a bitter price war with its Chinese peers to capture the world’s largest EV market.

Elsewhere, aluminum producer Albemarle Corp (NYSE:ALB) fell 7% after it commenced a $1.75 billion share offering, while persistent weakness in commodity prices also weighed. 

On the other hand, drone maker AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ:AVAV) jumped nearly 20% on strong earnings. 

Ambar Warrick contributed to this report.

U.S. stock futures inch lower as traders eye payrolls, Powell testimony this week

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