Thursday May 12th


Stock futures head lower as relentless selling continues on Wall Street from inflation fears

U.S. stock index futures traded lower Thursday morning as a sell-off continues on Wall Street that’s pushed the S&P 500 to the lowest in more than a year and to the cusp of a bear market. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 168 points, or 0.53% following five straight days of losses. S&P 500 futures declined 0.85% after the benchmark closed at its lowest level since March 2021 in the prior session. Nasdaq 100 futures declined 1.52% as tech shares continued to be at the epicenter of the selling during this risk-off period. The latest inflation data on Wednesday showed consumer prices in April jumped 8.3%, higher than expected and still running close to a 40-year high of 8.5%. The report caused investors to continue to sell risky assets like tech stocks and bitcoin. “Stocks are for sale in all corners of the globe, and the market tone is increasingly dour,” said Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge in a note. Fresh data on the producer price index on Thursday, which measures prices at the wholesale level, did little to shake fears of rising inflation. In regular trading Wednesday, the Dow fell 326 points, or 1.02%. The S&P 500 slipped 1.65% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.18%. The S&P 500 is now more than 18% off its high and down more than 17% since the start of the year. The Nasdaq Composite is already nearly 30% off its high. Bitcoin plunged below $27,000 overnight Thursday from inflation fears and the collapse of controversial stablecoin TerraUSD. Tech companies with bitcoin holdings declined in the premarket. Tesla lost 2%, while MicroStrategy fell 10%. Apple lost 1%, a move that would push the shares into a bear market if it carries through to regular trading. The stock closed down 19.9% off its high Wednesday as Saudi Aramco surpassed the tech giant as the world’s most valuable company. Other tech stocks, which have been hard-hit by the recent sell-off, continued their descent in the premarket. Meta Platforms and Amazon dipped 1.4% and 2%, respectively. Disney shares fell more than 4% in premarket trading after reporting mixed earnings results. The media giant reported higher-than-expected streaming subscriber growth, but warned about the Covid impact on parks in Asia. Rivian Automotive also added 5.3% in the premarket and Beyond Meat slumped more than 26% on the back of quarterly results. Still, Tom Lee of Fundstrat remains bullish on stocks. He said if the market finds its footing “we’re in a world of double digit expected returns.” “This week is interesting because the stock market declines have accelerated downwards, so the waterfall is accelerating but things that normally would corroborate a waterfall decline like yields or the VIX have not been,” Lee told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.” “The bond market’s actually been pretty stable even in the face of a hot CPI and the VIX actually has been falling.” He noted that of the 16 times since 1940 that the market has declined 16% in a four-month period, it was higher six months later in 12 of those events. On the economic data front, investors are looking ahead to the latest on jobless claims, slated for release at 8:30. Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower on Thursday as tech stocks sold off following overnight losses on Wall Street — after data showed the consumer price index stateside in April remaining near the highest level in more than 40 years. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Tech index declined 3.84% to 3,864.95. In the broader markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2.24% to close at 19,380.34 while the Taiex in Taiwan declined 2.43% on the day to 15,616.68. Mainland Chinese stocks shed earlier gains, with the Shanghai Composite closing 0.12% lower at 3,054.99 and the Shenzhen Component falling 0.132% to 11,094.87. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 1.77%, closing at 25,748.72, while the Topix index shed 1.19% to 1,829.18. In South Korea, the Kospi closed 1.63% lower at 2,550.08. Oil prices dropped on Thursday in a volatile week as recession fears dogged global financial markets, outweighing supply concerns and geopolitical tensions in Europe. Brent crude declined $1.32, or 1.2%, to $106.17 per barrel. WTI crude fell $1.33, or 1.25%, to $104.39. Gold gained on Thursday as the dollar and Treasury yields slipped after U.S. consumer price data suggested inflation might have peaked in April, allaying some concerns of more aggressive Fed rate hikes. A weaker dollar makes gold attractive for overseas buyers, while lower Treasury yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding zero-yield bullion. Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,855.11 per ounce, as of 0103 GMT, having risen as much as 1.1% in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,856.90.