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Dow Futures Fall 175 Pts; Fed Tightening Plans in Focus

Stock Markets May 31, 2022 21:14
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By Peter Nurse

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Tuesday, handing back some of the previous week’s gains after a long weekend with Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy in focus.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 175 points, or 0.5%, S&P 500 Futures traded 20 points, or 0.5%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 20 points, or 0.2%.

Wall Street was closed on Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday, but the main indices are expected to weaken after the previous week saw the best weekly gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 since November 2020.

Investor sentiment was lifted by a combination of solid earnings from the retail sector as well as an inflation report that showed prices could be easing. This gave rise to expectations that the Fed could pause its hiking cycle after two further rises of 50 basis points in June and July.

However, Fed Governor Christopher Waller put a dent into that theory, suggesting that the central bank needs to move interest rates much higher and soon if high inflation does not begin to subside.

"If inflation doesn't go away, that... rate is going a lot higher, and soon," Waller said on Monday. "We are not going to sit there and wait six months...I am advocating 50 on the table every meeting until we see substantial reductions in inflation. Until we get that, I don't see the point of stopping."

Additionally, evidence from Europe wasn’t encouraging after inflation in the Eurozone surged to a new record high in May. The consumer price index in the region climbed to 8.1% in the 12 months through May, up from 7.4% in April and well ahead of analysts' forecasts for a rate of 7.7%.

There is more U.S. data due Tuesday, including the March house price index, the Chicago PMI for May, and most importantly the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for May, while U.S. President Joe Biden is to meet with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to discuss how to bring down inflation.

In the corporate sector, there will be more quarterly earnings to digest, with the likes of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), HP (NYSE:HPQ), and Victoria's Secret (NYSE:VSCO) due to report earnings after the bell.

Oil prices extended gains Tuesday, recording new two-month highs after the European Union agreed to substantially reduce oil imports from Russia, tightening an already strained crude market.

The EU agreed in principle late Monday to cut 90% of oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022, managing to resolve a deadlock with Hungary over the bloc's toughest sanction yet on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% higher at $118.62 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.5% to $119.31.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,850.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.7% lower at 1.0702.

Dow Futures Fall 175 Pts; Fed Tightening Plans in Focus
 

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