Stock futures inch up as investors look ahead to Powell comments, jobs data this week

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on February 27, 2023 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures inched up Monday morning as Wall Street looked ahead to a week filled with economic data and the latest commentary from the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures marginally gained by 5 points, or less than 0.1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also inched up 0.25% and 0.15%, respectively.

Traders are coming off a positive week for the major averages. The Dow industrials added 1.75% last week, ending a four-week losing streak. The S&P 500 advanced 1.90%, while the Nasdaq capped the week with a 2.58% pop.

Those gains come even as the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose above the psychological 4% level at various points last week. An upward move in the 10-year yield raises borrowing costs for consumers and could signal a drop in investor confidence.

“If you’re afraid of a recession, go get the 10-year Treasury,” Sri-Kumar Global’s Sri Kumar said in a Friday appearance for “CNBC Special: Taking Stock.” “Equities are a losing proposition today, and until you see the valuations come down significantly, just don’t trust [Friday’s] rally.”

Important catalysts this week include congressional testimony Tuesday and Wednesday from Fed chair Jerome Powell, who will guide investors on how the central bank is thinking about inflation and its rate-hiking campaign going forward.

Traders are also anticipating the February jobs report on Friday, which follows January’s blockbuster report that showed the economy added 517,000 payrolls. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 225,000 jobs added last month.

On Monday, the latest factory orders data will also be released after the bell. Economists are expecting a decline of 1.8% in January, according to consensus estimates from Dow Jones. That’s compared to a 1.8% gain in the prior reading.

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