Wednesday May 25th


Stock futures fall as investors await Fed update

U.S. stock index futures were lower Wednesday after a sharp decline in the Nasdaq Composite during the previous session, while traders awaited the Federal Reserve’s release of its policy meeting from earlier this month. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 149 points, or 0.5%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively. Dick’s Sporting Goods shares tumbled more than 12% in premarket trading, despite topping earnings and revenue estimates for its fiscal first quarter, after the retailer cut its outlook for the year amid rising inflation and ongoing supply chain challenges. Best Buy slid more than 4% premarket after Barclays downgraded the shares, following a mixed earnings report Tuesday in which the electronics retailer cut its yearly outlook. Investors and analysts have pointed out that while retail earnings may seem bleak, they reflect a shift in consumers demand for services rather than goods, and some have suggested stocks may be getting overly punished for their results. “I know everybody’s focused on Walmart and Target, but let’s focus on something like TJX that actually delivered and raised their margin guidance,” Hightower CIO Stephanie Link said Wednesday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. ” She noted that luxury apparel brands Chanel showed revenues of 23%, that Ralph Lauren beat on the top and bottom lines, and that Nordstrom’s designer and shoe business helped comps because people wanted to buy things for occasions. Nordstrom shares added more than 4% Wednesday morning after the retailer surpassed sales expectations and raised its full-year outlook. “Services and high end are actually still doing pretty good,” Link said. Homebuilder Toll Brothers also posted quarterly results that beat analyst expectations, sending the stock up more than 3% in the premarket. Wednesday’s moves came after a downbeat session for the Nasdaq, which tumbled following a warning of slowing growth from social media company Snap. The tech-heavy composite fell 2.4% on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 slid 0.8%. The Dow rose by 0.2% in a late-day reversal, despite falling as much as 1.6% earlier in the session. Snap’s warning dinged other social media and tech stocks, including Facebook parent Meta, Twitter, and Google parent Alphabet. Traders will continue to parse through earnings reports this week to see how companies are handling inflationary pressures. Snowflake and Nvidia are set to post quarterly reports after the bell. On the economic front, investors are awaiting the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee. At the May 4 meeting, the Fed hiked rates by half a percentage point, with Chair Jerome Powell saying that inflation is “much too high and we understand the hardship it is causing. We’re moving expeditiously to bring it back down.” Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, with New Zealand’s central bank announcing yet another rate hike. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.29%, closing at 20,171.27. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China ended the trading day 1.19% higher at 3,107.46 and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.698% to 11,143.18. The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 0.26% lower at 26,677.80 while the Topix index shed 0.09% to 1,876.58. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.44% to finish the trading day at 2,617.22. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia advanced 0.37%, closing at 7,155.20. Over in Singapore, the Straits Times index edged down 0.28%, as of 4:14 p.m. local time. Oil prices rose on Wednesday, buoyed by tight supplies and the prospect of rising demand from the summer driving season in the United States, the world’s biggest crude consumer. Brent crude futures for July rose for a fifth session running, gaining $1.24, or 1.1%, to trade at $114.81 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for July delivery rose $1.46, or 1.3%, to $111.23. Gold prices fell on Wednesday as the dollar firmed in the run-up to minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s May policy meeting, which could provide cues on its policy tightening path. Spot gold was down 0.6% at $1,855.49 per ounce, after rising to a two-week high of $1,869.49 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.6% to $1,853.50. The dollar advanced after hitting its lowest level in a month in the previous session, making greenback-priced bullion more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.