Wall Street Looks Headed For Weak Start

U.S. stocks look headed for a weak start Thursday morning, weighed down by lower stock and commodities futures and concerns about interest rate hikes and their impact on economic growth.

Dow futures are down 0.3 percent and S&P futures are lower by 0.27 percent, while Nasdaq futures are down 0.34 percent.

Data on weekly jobless claims, and reading of Chicago Fed National Activity index for May are due at 8:30 AM ET.

Investors will also be reacting to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony and speeches from Federal Reserve officials Mester, Bowman.

Wall Street ended weak on Wednesday. All the major indices ended in negative territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the slide.

The Nasdaq tumbled 165.10 or 1.2 percent to 13,502.20, the S&P 500 fell 23.02 points or 0.5 percent to 4,365.69, while the Dow dipped 102.35 points or 0.3 percent to 33,951.52.

Renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates contributed to the weakness on Wall Street following remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Powell reiterated the Fed is likely to continue raising interest rates in an effort to contain stubbornly elevated inflation.

In overseas trading today, Asian stocks ended mixed in thin trade, with markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan closed for the Dragon Boat Festival.

The dollar languished near a one-month low against a basket of currencies despite Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell affirming that more interest rate increases are likely ahead.

European stocks are down firmly in negative territory after the Bank of England announced a 50 basis point rate hike as against widespread forecasts for a 25 basis point hike.

The Swiss National Bank raised its interest rate by 25 basis points today.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is down 1.1 percent, Germany’s DAX is losing 0.51 percent and France’s CAC 40 is sliding 1.02 percent, while Switzerland’s SMI is down 0.28 percent. The pan European Stoxx 600 is lower by 0.82 percent.

In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are down nearly 2 percent at $71.10 a barrel, while Gold futures are lower by $9.10 or 0.47 percent at $1,935.80 an ounce.

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