Stock futures hovered near the flatlineTuesday to start a holiday-shortened week. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat. S&P 500 futures were lower by 0.18%, while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.37%. Over the extended holiday weekend, Goldman Sachs cut its recession odds to 15% and said it anticipates the Federal Reserve skipping a rate hike at its policy meeting later this month. The moves follow an upbeat week for Wall Street, with the Dow and the Nasdaq notching their best performances since July. The 30-stock Dow and the Nasdaq added 1.4% and about 3.3% for the week. The S&P 500 gained 2.5% to register its best week since June. Traders last week weighed new signs of a slowing economy and easing pricing pressures. The latest U.S. nonfarm payrolls report showed the unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in August, reaching its highest level in more than a year. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected it to remain at 3.5%. Average hourly earnings also increased 4.3% on a year-over-year basis, less than the 4.4% increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. Investors could also be looking at a challenging month ahead for stocks. September is historically the weakest month for equities, and investors will be sifting through economic reports—including fresh inflation data—ahead of the Fed’s September policy meeting. Central bank policymakers will have a two-day meeting starting Sept. 19 and announce their interest rate decision Sept. 20. Still, some technical indicators gave investors hope last week. In a sign of positive short-term momentum, the major indexes broke above their respective 50-day moving averages this past week. “Investors are feeling more optimistic because we’re back in an ascent mode and upward trend,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, told CNBC last week. He added, “At least in the near term, I think that the U.S. equity markets could continue to climb even in the face of a relatively challenging month.” U.S. Treasury yields climbed on Tuesday as markets reopened after the Labor Day holiday and investors considered what could be next for the economy following last week’s key data releases. At 5:14 a.m. ET, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was up by over 4 basis points at 4.216%. The 2-year Treasury yield was last at 4.901% after climbing by more than 3 basis points. Asia-Pacific markets fell as Australia’s central bank’s held its benchmark policy rate at 4.1% for the third straight month in a row and investors assessed inflation and business activity readings from across the region. Elsewhere, South Korea’s inflation rate for August came in higher than expected at 3.4%, and investors also assessed purchasing managers index readings from China, India and Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2.13% in its final hour of trade, dragged by health-care and real estate stocks, while mainland Chinese markets are also in negative territory, with the CSI 300 down 0.74% and ending at 3,820.32. South Korea’s Kospi slid 0.09% to finish at 2,582.18, while the Kosdaq saw a gain of 0.25% to end at 921.48. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also reversed losses and gained 0.3%, closing at 33,036.76, marking a seven-day winning streak and the first time the Nikkei has crossed the 33,000 mark since Aug. 1. The Topix rose 0.17% to end at 2,377.85, also recording a seven-day streak. Oil prices dipped on Tuesday as fresh data added to gloom over the state of China’s post-pandemic recovery, although expectations of an extension in supply cuts by leading OPEC+ members limited losses. Brent crude futures for November were down 54 cents at $88.46 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) October futures edged 14 cents lower to $85.39 a barrel. Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday as the dollar stood firm near recent highs, although trading was subdued with traders looking for more cues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy path after a widely expected interest rate pause this month. Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,930.07 per ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,956.30 after a U.S. holiday on Monday.
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