Salem Radio Network News Sunday, September 24, 2023


Wall St eyes lower open on renewed inflation worries, economic data in focus

By Shristi Achar A and Amruta Khandekar

(Reuters) -Wall Street was set to open lower on Wednesday as concerns about sticky inflation kept investors on edge ahead of key data, including the Federal Reserve’s report on the U.S. economy, which could help determine the bank’s interest rate path.

A rise in Treasury yields and oil prices had pushed stocks lower on Tuesday as signs of persistent inflationary pressures tempered expectations of a less hawkish Federal Reserve.

Investors now await a slew of fresh economic data due later in the day, including the S&P Global final U.S. composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and the ISM non-manufacturing PMI for hints on the state of the economy.

“The extension of output cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia through to the end of the year is likely to add to inflationary pressures,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell in a note, adding the cuts could force the Fed to keep interest rates higher for longer.

Some analysts also said slowing economic growth in other parts of the world has hurt risk sentiment in recent days.

“If you look around the globe, China economic news is worsening, European macro news is not good. So at one point or another, that demand worry is going to impact the market,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Investors are also focused on the Fed’s “Beige Book”, due at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a snapshot of the U.S. economy, ahead of the keenly awaited inflation data scheduled for next week and the Fed’s policy decision on Sept. 20.

Traders’ odds for a pause in interest rate hikes in the central bank’s September meeting remained intact at 93%, with bets on a pause in November at 56.8%, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

At 8:31 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 81 points, or 0.23%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 11 points, or 0.24%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.3%.

Shares of Apple slipped 0.7% before the bell as a report said China had ordered officials at central government agencies to not use iPhones and other foreign-branded devices for work, or bring them into their offices.

Shares of Alaska Air Group, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines fell between 0.3% and 3.8% after the three airlines warned of higher fuel costs in the third quarter due to a jump in crude prices.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines declined about 1% each.

Gitlab gained 5.9% after the software coding platform posted a surprise profit for the second quarter.

Shares of Roku climbed 9.3% after the video-streaming company said on Wednesday it would reduce its workforce by about 10% and limit new hiring.

General Mills rose 0.7% after the Cheerios cereals-maker reaffirmed its financial targets for 2024.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A and Amruta Khandekar in BengaluruEditing by Vinay Dwivedi)


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