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US stocks are expected to open lower on Thursday as investors await comments from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell

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US stocks are expected to open lower on Thursday, extending the previous session’s retreat as investors await comments from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell about the economic outlook.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged 0.3% lower, while S&P 500 index futures shed 0.4%, and Nasdaq-100 futures lost 0.6% as technology stocks bear the brunt of the market’s concerns having risen strongly.

Investors are hoping Powell will answer questions on how he views a recent jump in bond yields when he speaks at The Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit at 12.05pm ET.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note ticked down to 1.464% having jumped to 1.469% on Wednesday, its second-highest level this year and ending three days of declines.

US central bank officials have previously said that they will keep monetary policy loose until the economy is stronger, and that they view the rise in yields as a signal that investors are optimistic about the economic recovery.

Expectations have been bolstered by President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus (COVID-19) relief package. Democrats in the Senate agreed on Wednesday to narrow eligibility for some of the direct payments that are part of the bill, a concession to centrists whose support is needed to pass it.

Investors will also eye the latest US jobless claims for the week ended February 27, due at 8.30am for signs that employment is recovering, particularly ahead of Friday’s always-key US non-farm payroll data for the full month.

Investor faith in the economic rebound was unshaken by data released overnight that showed US private payrolls rose less than expected in February.

Five things to watch on Thursday:

  • The UK competition regulator said it has opened an investigation into Apple Inc after complaints that the iPhone maker’s terms and conditions for app developers are unfair and anti-competitive
  • Exxon Mobil is suing Australia’s Macquarie Energy in a Texas court in a $11.7 million lawsuit over missed deliveries during last month’s winter freeze in the central United States
  • Boeing-backed supersonic jet maker Aerion said on Wednesday Berkshire Hathaway’s private aircraft firm, NetJets, has obtained purchase rights for 20 of its AS2 business jets
  • Deliveroo said it plans a London stock market listing that could value the British food delivery firm at around $7 billion and mark the biggest new share issue in Britain in three years
  • The US Postal Service (USPS) said on Wednesday it is offering early retirement to non-union employees as it consolidates postal districts in an effort to stem billions in red ink

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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