US stock futures fell Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments later that day.
S&P 500 futures traded 0.4% lower. Nasdaq 100 futures lost 1.1% as technology stocks were hit again by rising bond yields. Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix each fell by at least 1% in premarket retail. Tesla lost 4% in early trading. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat.
The 10-year government bond yield rose to a new 13-month high in early trading. The yield rose 5 basis points above 1.67%, its highest level since early February 2020, and beat Friday’s most recent high of 1.642%. The 30-year rate rose to 2.428%, the highest level since November 2019. Higher rates affect the value of future cash flows and are particularly harmful to growth-oriented companies.
On Wednesday, the Fed will release new economic and interest rate forecasts that could suggest that Fed officials expect a rate hike by or even before 2023. The central bank is expected to recognize stronger growth, which should bring the Fed’s loose policies under control, especially given the new $ 1.9 trillion stimulus spending.
Investors will also hear from Fed Chairman Powell, who is likely to move the equity and bond markets with his comment, although he is unlikely to offer details.
“There is this assumption [Powell’s] will be cautious tomorrow. When it comes to another round of spending, he finds it difficult not to be reluctant. You are definitely afraid of scaring the market. They are afraid of disrupting their recovery, “said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer, Bleakley Advisory Group.
Rising interest rates have been an overhang for stocks in the past few weeks, especially for the tech sector. The surge in yields has forced value stocks to shift away from growth, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 near record highs.
A heavy roll-out of vaccines and the relaxation of government lockdowns have also spurred inventory re-opening.
The cruise lines Royal Caribbean and Carnival gained about 1% apiece in early premarket trading on Wednesday. McDonald’s shares rose 1% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to buy from the hold.
On Tuesday, the Dow lost nearly 130 points, hurt by a nearly 4% decline in Boeing stock. The 30-stock average posted a seven-day profit streak. The S&P 500 fell 0.16% after hitting a record high during the trading session.
The Nasdaq Composite was the relative outperformer, up 0.09% as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google’s parent Alphabet all saw gains. The tech-intensive index rose more than 1% at one point in the session.
– CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to this report.