U.S. equity futures clawed higher in the early trade Monday after stocks booked consecutive weekly losses for the first time since late September.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 (^GSPC) advanced 0.5%, while futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) inched up about 70 points, or 0.2%. Contracts on the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) were up by 0.4%. Over last week, the S&P 500 shed 2.1%, the Dow 1.7%, and the Nasdaq 2.7%.
In other areas of the market, U.S. Treasury yields nudged higher, while the U.S. dollar index retreated. Oil steadied, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures trading just below $75 per barrel.
Tesla’s (TSLA) stock price popped nearly 5% after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk posted a Twitter poll asking if he should step down as head of the social media platform he recently acquired.
Last week, shares of Tesla plunged 16% — marking its worst week since the onset of the COVID pandemic in March 2020 — over concerns about Musk’s management of Twitter and sales of Tesla stock.
Monday’s moves follow a rout last week that came after Federal Reserve officials delivered a half percentage point increase to their overnight policy rate. Chair Jerome Powell also emphasized that hiking would continue into the new year and policy will remain restrictive for as long as needed to rein in inflation that still remains high – even if it means economic consequences.
“Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth and some softening of labor market conditions,” Powell said during a speech Wednesday. “The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy. We will stay the course, until the job is done.”
The U.S. central bank’s messaging about sustained, restrictive monetary policy has dampened hopes for a Santa Claus rally — a steady rise in the stock market that occurs around year-end holidays. With Friday’s second straight weekly decline, the S&P 500 is now down nearly 6% month-to-date.
Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
“It’s been a one-two punch – it’s been about the Fed and then some weaker economic data – and that has created a picture of a Fed that has been ruthless about inflation and, perhaps, careless about the economy, not recognizing in particular how much impact and how much damage what it’s already done thus far has had,” Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist Kristina Hooper told Yahoo Finance Live. “The general concern is that we’re headed for a recession based on what the Fed has already done, and on top of that, the Fed is poised to do more.”
Before markets …….