S&P 500 futures inched higher on Thursday morning as Wall Street monitored a key mark for a closely followed bond yield and awaited commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Futures tied to the broad index rose 0.1%, while Nasdaq-100 futures added 0.4%. Futures connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 11 points, trading near flat. Traders will monitor remarks at noon ET from Powell for insights into the path of interest rates. Even as inflation numbers have been showing signs of improvement, Treasury yields’ continued climb has raised questions on how the central bank may proceed on monetary policy. Weekly jobless claims came in under 200,000, another sign of continued strength in the economy despite higher interest rates. Investors also parsed the latest earnings reports. Electric vehicle juggernaut Tesla slid nearly 7% after the company missed expectations on earnings and revenue in the third quarter. CEO Elon Musk also warned that the company’s Cybertruck will not produce much positive cash flow more than a year after production starts. Netflix shares, meanwhile, popped more than 13% after the streaming giant posted third-quarter earnings that beat estimates. The company got a boost from strong ad-tier subscriptions. Wall Street is coming off a steep sell-off, as Treasury yields surged to multiyear highs. The yield on the 10-year Treasury topped 4.9%, touching its highest level in 16 years. In turn, the S&P 500 tumbled 1.3%, while the 30-stock Dow shed more than 330 points, or 0.98%. The Nasdaq Composite was the underperformer, off 1.6%. Treasury yields rose on Thursday, with the 10-year rate pushing closer to the key 5% level as investors awaited remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped 5 basis points to 4.95%. It had touched as high as 4.98% earlier in the session, trading at levels last seen in 2007 after first crossing the 4.9% mark on Wednesday. The benchmark rate has climbed for four days in a row, bringing October gains to about 40 basis points. The 2-year Treasury yield was last 2 basis points higher at 5.23%, hovering at levels last seen in 2006. Yields and prices have an inverted relationship and one basis point equals 0.01%. “Next stop 5.0% 10s,” wrote Ian Lyngen and Benjamin Jeffery of BMO in a note Wednesday. “It’s a given at this point.” Asia-Pacific markets saw a wide sell off, with South Korea, Hong Kong, and mainland Chinese markets seeing losses of about 2% each. This also mirrors moves on Wall Street overnight as U.S. Treasury yields jumped to multiyear highs, with the 10-year Treasury yield breaking above 4.9% for the first time since 2007. Japan recorded a higher than expected trade surplus of 62.4 billion yen ($416.6 million) for September, while data from Australia showed its unemployment rate fell to 3.6% last month. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.36%, erasing all the gains it’s made this week and closing at 6,981.6. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 2.43% in its final hour, leading losses in Asia, while China’s CSI 300 index shed 2.13% and closed at 3,533.54, hovering near a 12-month low. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also tumbled 1.91% to end at 31,430.62 for its largest single-day loss in two weeks, while the Topix saw a smaller loss of 1.36% and closed at 2,264.16 after the trade data was released. South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.9% to finish at 2,415.8, but the Kosdaq plunged 3.07% and closed at 784.04, its lowest level in about seven months as the Bank of Korea kept its interest rates steady at 3.5% for the sixth time in a row. Oil prices fell about 2% on Thursday as the United States eased sanctions on Venezuela to allow more oil to flow globally, but fears that Israel’s military campaign in Gaza may escalate to a regional conflict kept a lid on losses. Brent futures for December were down $1.80, or 1.97%, to $89.70 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures for November, which expire on Friday, stood at $86.77 per barrel, down $1.55, or 1.8%. The more active December WTI contract fell 1.6%, or $1.38, to $85.89 a barrel. Spot gold prices hovered near a 2½-month high on Thursday as escalating Middle East turmoil buoyed demand for the safe-haven asset, while investors awaited U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech due later in the day. Spot gold was steady at $1,950.31 per ounce after hitting its highest since Aug. 1 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,962.40.
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