U.S. stock futures fell Wednesday as Wall Street resumed a holiday-shortened week and looked to Federal Reserve meeting minutes coming in the afternoon. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by 195 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures dipped 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively. Some of the best performers in the first half — including technology stocks Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Tesla — took a leg down before the bell Wednesday, weighing on the broader market. Markets were closed Tuesday for the Fourth of July holiday. They closed early Monday. Minutes from the June 13-14 Fed meeting due Wednesday afternoon could provide more details on where monetary policy is heading. While the decision to hold interest rates steady was not a surprise, indications that members see at least two more hikes before the end of the year did catch the market off guard. Since then, policymakers have provided further indications that they see more work ahead before inflation is brought back down to an acceptable level. Traders are also watching for May factory orders data out Wednesday after the market open. Economists polled by Dow Jones are anticipating a rise of 0.6%, which would be greater than the 0.4% increase the previous month. Investors are coming off a positive session Monday, which kicked off the start of a new month, quarter and half-year for traders. Stocks rose slightly during the shortened trading day, with the Dow adding 10.87 points, or 0.03%. The S&P 500 rose 0.12%, while the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.21% higher. Those gains built on a strong start to the year. Last week, the Nasdaq closed out its best first half of the year since 1983, while the S&P 500 notched its best first-half advance since 2019, as a surge in interest in artificial intelligence buoyed investor optimism in stocks. The Dow was the laggard, rising just 3.8%. “We’ve been bullish. We still think there’s a rally,” Carson Group’s Ryan Detrick told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Monday, adding, “Maybe we’re due for a pullback sometime August, September, October — perfectly normal — but we’d be a buyer of any weakness.” Asia-Pacific markets largely fell as investors digest the release of private surveys on services activity from the region. Services activity in Japan and China remained in expansion territory for the month while the pace of growth softened. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.25% to end its session at 33,338.7 and the Topix slid fractionally to 2,306.03. South Korea’s Kospi also lost 0.55% to 2,579 while the Kosdaq rose 0.13% to 891.18. Greater China markets fell, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.69% to close at 3,222.95 and the Shenzhen Component lower by 0.91% to 11,029.3. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6% in its final hour of grade while the Hang Seng Tech index also traded 1.5% lower. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.35% to close at 7,253.6 after the Reserve Bank of Australia held rates at 4.1% on Tuesday. Brent crude oil prices were little changed on Wednesday as concern over the global economy countered supply cuts announced this week by top crude exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia. The Brent benchmark was down 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $76.13 a barrel by 1205 GMT after falling more than $1 in early trade and then briefly turning positive. The benchmark closed with a $1.60 gain on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude traded at $71.26, up $1.47, or 2.1%, from Monday’s close. Gold prices were rangebound on Wednesday in cautious trading ahead of the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting minutes due later in the day. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,927.99 per ounce by 0952 GMT, trading in a $8 range, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,935.50.
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