Dow Futures Wobble, Bed Bath & Beyond Surges—and What Else Is Happening in the Stock Market Today

Wall Street continues to hotly anticipate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday.


Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks wobbled on Wednesday with the market on track for more bumpy trading in advance of a much-anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday, which investors will be monitoring closely for critical clarity on central bank policy.

Futures for the


Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 10 points, or less than 0.1%, after the index dropped 154 points Tuesday to close at 32,909.


S&P 500

futures rose 0.1% and the tech stock-heavy


Nasdaq

was poised to gain 0.1%. Futures for all three indexes—which closed narrowly in the red in the last session to mark a third day of losses—had been negative at the start of the premarket session.

Overseas, the pan-European


Stoxx 600

shed 0.2% and Tokyo’s


Nikkei 225

ended 0.5% lower.

Stock and bond markets continue to whipsaw ahead of Powell’s speech Friday at the Jackson Hole conference, where traders hope the central bank chief will give the market much-desired clarity on the Fed’s monetary policy pathway. 

The central bank already has moved aggressively to tighten financial conditions this year, enacting the largest interest-rate hikes in decades as it tames inflation at 40-year highs. A stock market rally in July was largely based on optimism that the Fed had reached peak hawkishness, but this narrative has come under pressure in August amid signs of the Fed’s continued commitment to fight rising prices.

“Despite the best efforts of data releases, U.S. rates markets just do not want to fundamentally re-price the outlook until Chair Powell’s remarks this Friday at Jackson Hole,” said Tim Wessel, an analyst at Deutsche Bank. “The retracement of every rally following downside data surprises, along with the build up in short policy futures positions, suggests that the market is looking for a very hawkish tone from the Chair.”

Here is one stock on the move Wednesday:



Bed Bath & Beyond

(ticker: BBBY), whose shares have been on a rollercoaster in recent weeks, jumped 16% in premarket trading after the company secured a loan to build cash and pay down debt.

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@dowjones.com

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