Friday December 23rd


S&P 500 futures are flat as index heads for its third-straight down week

U.S. stock index futures were little changed Friday as traders try to recover some of the ground lost in the previous session. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 62 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.1% each. Friday’s moves followed another down session for markets as December’s sell-off resumed and hopes for a Santa Claus rally faded. The Dow on Thursday tumbled 348.99 points, or 1.05%, but finished well off its 803-point low. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dove 1.45% and 2.18%, respectively. Those losses put the S&P 500 down 0.8% for the week, on pace for its third-straight weekly decline. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile has lost 2.1% this week. The Dow has been the outperformer this week, gaining 0.3%. Recession fears have resurged recently dashing some investors’ hope for a year-end rally and leading to big losses in December. Investors worry that overtightening from central banks worldwide could force the economy into a downturn. “From a broader market and economic perspective, nothing’s different next year,” Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at Solus Alternative Asset Management said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Thursday, noting that questions will linger over how far the Fed will hike. “The trend is still the trend that remains in place.” For December, the S&P 500 has lost more than 6%, while the Dow and Nasdaq have lost 4.5% and 8.7%, respectively. It would be the biggest monthly declines for the major averages since September. Stocks are also on pace for their worst annual performance since 2008. Investors await more economic data due out Friday, including November’s personal consumption expenditure report — the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation — and personal income. New home sales and December consumer sentiment index are also slated for release. Asia-Pacific shares traded lower, taking the lead from losses on Wall Street ahead of the release of some economic data in the region. Core consumer prices in Japan rose 3.7% in November on an annualized basis, marking the fastest pace since December 1981. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.03% to close at 26,235.25 while the Topix shed 0.54% to 1,897.94. The Japanese yen stood at 132.5 against the U.S. dollar, around the strongest levels it’s seen in four months. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.3% in its final hour of trade as investors digest China’s longer-than-expected reopening path. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.28% to 3,045.87 and the Shenzhen Component also lost 0.25% to close at 10,849.63. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.252% at 7,107.7 and South Korea’s Kospi also fell 1.83% to 2,313.69. Oil prices rose 2% on Friday on expectations of a drop in Russian crude supply, which helped offset worries of a hit to U.S. transport fuel demand growth as a looming Arctic storm threatens travel during the holiday season. Brent crude was up by $1.47, or 1.8%, to $82.46 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $79.14 a barrel, up $1.62, or 2.1% higher. Both contracts were on track to post a second weekly gain. Gold prices eked out gains on Friday ahead of a long holiday weekend as investors awaited U.S. inflation data due later in the day that could offer some clues to the Federal Reserve rate-hike path. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,796.61 per ounce by 7:50 a.m. ET. U.S. gold futures gained 0.53% to $1,804.8.