Dow Futures Fall 130 Pts; Powell-Inspired Selloff Continues

By Peter Nurse 

© Reuters Dow Futures Fall 130 Pts; Powell-Inspired Selloff Continues — U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Thursday, continuing the previous session’s selloff in the wake of the Federal Reserve signaling a higher peak for U.S. interest rates.

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At 07:10 ET (11:10 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 130 points or 0.4%, S&P 500 Futures traded 22 points or 0.6% lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 90 points or 0.8%.

The main equity indices posted hefty losses on Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average falling over 500 points or 1.6%, the broad-based S&P 500 dropping 2.5%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slumping 3.4%.

The losses followed comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell after the U.S. central bank hiked interest rates by 75 basis points, for the fourth successive meeting.

Powell said Wednesday it was “very premature to be thinking about pausing,” adding the “ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected [in September].”

Investors had hoped for a clear sign that the Fed would start to ease off its aggressive pace of rate hikes.

Corporate earnings continue to pour out, with the likes of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) scheduled to report Thursday.

Additionally, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock fell 7% premarket after the chipmaker’s forecast for holiday-quarter revenue fell short of expectations, as it struggles with a slump in sales to smartphone customers.

Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) stock slumped 20% premarket after the streaming platform forecast holiday-quarter revenue below estimates as ad spending dries up.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) stock fell over 12% premarket after the cybersecurity firm disappointed with its revenue growth while its billing guidance fell short of expectations.

Friday’s jobs report for October looms large, with recent employment data showing the labor market remains tight. Ahead of this, later Thursday, investors will look at the weekly jobless claims data as well as September factory orders and the October ISM non-manufacturing PMI release. 

Oil prices fell Thursday, retreating from a three-week high, after weak Chinese services sector activity data pointed to slowing demand growth at the world’s largest crude importer.

Also weighing on the crude market is the stronger dollar after the Fed raised interest rates and flagged more to come, making the commodity more expensive for foreign buyers.

By 07:10 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.7% lower at $88.48 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.4% to $94.80. 

Both contracts had rallied on Wednesday, climbing to their highest levels since Oct. 10, as official data showed a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. inventories of 3.115 million barrels during the week ended Oct. 28.

Additionally, gold futures fell 1.6% to $1,623.05/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.8% lower at 0.9738.

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