Stock Futures Waver Ahead of Economic Data

Stock futures were little changed and the dollar rose as investors considered risks to the global economy.

S&P 500 futures added 0.1%, pointing to muted moves for the benchmark index at the opening bell. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were also up 0.1% and tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.2%.

Stocks and commodities have fallen in recent sessions on three-pronged concerns for the world economy. In China, Covid-19 lockdowns are curtailing activity and disrupting international supply chains. Europe’s energy crisis is shutting down parts of industry and saddling governments with enormous bills.

In the U.S., the problem for markets is different. Some investors say the economy is too strong, encouraging the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates to curb inflation.

“Give me a reason why markets should be going up,” said BNP Paribas Asset Management strategist Daniel Morris when asked why markets were down.

Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasurys slipped to 3.323% from 3.339% Tuesday. Yields fall when bond prices rise. The WSJ Dollar Index gained 0.2% as the U.S. currency advanced against the pound and yen.

Global stocks were broadly lower as the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.7%. Oil prices whipsawed, falling to their lowest level since just before the invasion of Ukraine before recovering to trade 0.6% higher at $93.37 a barrel of Brent crude.

Chinese trade data showed outbound shipments rose 7.1% from a year earlier in August, slowing from an 18% increase in July. China’s imports increased 0.3% from a year earlier, down from 2.3% growth in July.

The import data suggest lockdowns are hurting demand in China, while the export figures point to softening global growth, Mr. Morris said. “You are conceivably losing your second biggest global motor of growth because Covid just seems to drag on and on in terms of the restrictions,” he said.

A trader worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.



The British pound extended its decline, losing 0.4% to trade at $1.1480. New Prime Minister

Liz Truss

on Thursday is expected to lay out her plan, which could amount to over $100 billion, to protect households and businesses from rising energy prices this winter. 

Later Wednesday, investors will parse a batch of data on the U.S. economy. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. exports and imports of goods and services from July at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Federal Reserve releases its periodic compilation of economic anecdotes collected from businesses around the country, known as the “beige book,” at 2 p.m. ET.

Fed Vice Chair

Lael Brainard

is scheduled to give a speech about monetary policy and the economic outlook at 12:40 p.m. ET.

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