Stock futures fell slightly Wednesday after another positive session, marking the latest leg in an end-of-month rally as investors try to mitigate August’s losses. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11 points, or 0.03%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. The moves followed a third consecutive winning session on Wall Street as investors made up some ground at the end of the month. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.7% in the session. The S&P 500 rose about 1.5%, notching its best performance since June. The Dow climbed nearly 0.9%. Tuesday’s gains come on the back of data signaling the economy could be slowing. A Conference Board consumer sentiment index came in at 106.1, under the consensus estimate of 116 from economists polled by Dow Jones. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a decline in open job listings in July. Meanwhile, the 2-year Treasury yield dropped on Tuesday. Any indication of a cooling economy can buoy investor hopes that the Federal Reserve could lighten its policy stance. Tuesday’s “move goes back to a ‘bad news is good news’ type environment, which tends to be the case when investors are worried about rates and Fed policy,” said Sonu Varghese, global macro strategist at Carson Group. “Any softness in economic data results in less upward pressure on yields, and that helps equities.” Despite the gains, the three major indexes remain on pace for losses in August with just two trading days left. The Nasdaq Composite is poised to end August 2.8% lower, while the Dow and S&P 500 are both slated for drops of around 2%. Investors will watch on Wednesday for ADP’s jobs data, the first in a bevy of labor statistics coming over the course of this week. Jobless claims numbers are due Thursday, followed by data on nonfarm payrolls, wages and the unemployment rate on Friday. Elsewhere, investors will keep an eye on GDP and pending home sales data expected Wednesday morning. Brown-Forman, which owns Jack Daniel’s whiskey, is slated to report quarterly earnings before the bell, followed by technology stocks Salesforce, CrowdStrike and Okta after the market closes. U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday, recovering some of Tuesday’s losses, as investors considered the state of the economy after the latest data releases. At 5:38 am ET, the 10-year Treasury yield was up by over 2 basis point at 4.149%, after having fallen by as many as 10 basis points on Tuesday. The 2-year Treasury yield was last trading at 4.915% after rising by more than 2 basis points. On Tuesday, it had dropped by as many as 16 basis points. Asia-Pacific markets are set to mostly rise, largely mirroring moves on Wall Street as U.S. stocks saw a Nvidia-fueled tech rally on Tuesday. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.21% and led gains in the region, ending the day at 7,297.7 — the highest level since Aug 15. Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw its third straight day of gains, gaining 0.33% to close at 32,333.46, while the Topix also extended gains and rose 0.43% to end at 2,313.38. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.35% to finish at 2,561.22, while the Kosdaq closed up 0.83% to 923.81, its highest level since Aug 1. In contrast, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed almost flat, while mainland Chinese markets were broadly mixed, with the benchmark CSI 300 blue chip index ending down 0.04% to close at 3,788.51. Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday after industry data showed a large draw in crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest fuel consumer, and as a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico kept investors on edge. Brent crude futures for October rose by 46 cents, or 0.5%, to $85.95 a barrel. The October contract expires on Thursday and the more active November contract was at $85.35, up 44 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 53 cents, or 0.7%, to $81.69. Both benchmarks rallied more than a dollar on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar slid after prospects of further increases to interest rates eased after softer U.S. job data. Gold prices hovered near three-week highs on Wednesday, as investors pared back bets of further U.S. interest rate hikes in response to soft economic readings, with more data eyed this week to analyze the outlook. Spot gold was flat at $1,936.17 per ounce by 0328 GMT, about $2 below its highest levels since Aug. 7 hit on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures steadied at $1,964.30.
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