Thursday September 1st


Stock futures fall to start September as market reels on worries of rising rates

U.S. stock index futures fell Thursday, the first day of September, as traders continued to fret over the potential for higher Federal Reserve rates. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by 143 points, or 0.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively. The major averages are each on track to finish the week down by about 2%. The moves came as the 2-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 3.516%, the highest level since November 2007, at one point Thursday. Nvidia shares also contributed to the losses, falling more than 5% in premarket trading after the chipmaker said the U.S. government is restricting some sales in China. Weekly U.S. jobless claims fell to 232,000 for the week ending Aug. 27. That was weaker than economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected, a decline from the previous period and the lowest level since June 25. The major averages are coming off four straight days of losses. On Wednesday, the final day of August, the Dow slid nearly 0.9%. The S&P 500 lost about 0.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell roughly 0.6%. The Dow closed the month down about 4.1%, while the S&P and Nasdaq recorded losses of 4.2% and 4.6%, respectively. Investors are debating whether stocks will again challenge the June lows in September, a historically poor month for markets, after weighing recent hawkish comments from Fed officials who show no signs of easing up on interest rate hikes. “If we retest the lows, I think it happens in September,” SoFi’s Liz Young said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.” However, she added, “I think in order to do so, something would have to get materially worse than it was on June 16,” when stocks bottomed, such as earnings revisions that come in worse than investors are expecting. The month of September has historically been the worst for the stock market. The S&P 500, on average, has declined 0.56% in September, going back to World War II, according to CFRA. The index has been negative 56% of the time in September, but that has set up the market for an average 0.9% gain in October. November and December have both been positive for the S&P with average gains of 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively, CFRA found. Shares in the Asia-Pacific fell sharply on Thursday as investors digest the results of a private survey on China’s factory activity. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.02% to close at 6,845.60. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 1.53% to 27,661.47, and the Topix index dropped 1.41% to 1,935.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.79% lower at 19,597.31, and the Hang Seng Tech index also fell 1.63%. The Kospi in South Korea shed 2.28% to close at 2,415.61 and the Kosdaq lost 2.32% to 788.32. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite struggled for direction and closed 0.54% lower at 3,184.98, while the Shenzhen Component was down 0.88% at 11,712.39. Oil prices tumbled on Thursday, as new Covid-19 lockdown measures in China added to worries that high inflation and interest rate hikes are denting fuel demand. Brent crude futures fell $2.50, or 2.6%, to $93.15 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slid $2.31, or 2.6%, to $87.22 per barrel. Gold prices briefly slid below the key $1,700 psychological level for the first time in six weeks on Thursday, as major central banks stuck to an aggressive stance to combat inflation, dulling demand for non-yielding bullion. Spot gold fell 0.9% to $1,695.29 per ounce, having touched its lowest since July. U.S. gold futures shed 1.19% to $1,705.7.