US pre-open: Futures lower as traders look ahead to PCE reading

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 28 Feb 2024

US pre-open: Futures lower as traders look ahead to PCE reading

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were in the red ahead of the bell on Wednesday as market participants awaited key inflation figures scheduled for tomorrow.

As of 1300 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.32%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.35% and 0.44% weaker, respectively.

The Dow closed 96.82 points lower on Tuesday as investors turned their attention to a slew of data points.

Trade Nation's David Morrison said: "There was a mixed close across US stock indices yesterday, as equities continued to consolidate. This morning has brought more of a pullback particularly in tech and smaller stocks. NVIDIA was down over 1% overnight and has now lost about 3% from its record close last Thursday. Despite this, there still hasn't been any hint of a significant pullback in the current rally since it began at the end of October. Looking at the S&P 500, the longest run of consecutive losing sessions is four, which took place between the end of December going into the New Year.

"That run resulted in a loss of less than 2%. Yet that remains the largest pullback in percentage terms as well as duration. This has proved very dispiriting for would-be bulls who failed to go long early on in the rally. All those were hoping for a significant dip to give better entry levels, but this never happened. Instead, fortune favoured the brave, or the foolhardy, or simply the traders prepared to close their eyes and pay up to go long. So far that gamble has paid off. But even a mild 5% sell-off would leave many investors underwater, given the shape of this market."

On the macro front, mortgage applications sank by 5.6% in the week ended 23 February, extending the year-high 10.6% drop seen in the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Still to come, a preliminary reading of January wholesale inventories data will be out at 1330 GMT.

However, investors' primary focus will be on tomorrow's core PCE reading, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, with the reading likely to dictate market movements for the next while.

In the corporate space, online marketplace eBay was in focus early on Wednesday after raising its quarterly dividend payout and revealing it will fork out an additional $2.0bn on share buybacks, while retailer Urban Outfitters was lower in pre-market trading after posting fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of expectations.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com


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