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Stock Futures Edge Up as Investors Mull Jobs Data, Fed Minutes

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U.S. stock futures nudged up as jobless claims declined and investors digested meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve that showed officials could cool the pace of interest-rate increases. 

Futures tied to the S&P 500 on Thursday added 0.1% a day after the broad index halted a three-day rally. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged up 0.1% and technology-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.2%.

Stock indexes have climbed in recent weeks on signs that inflation was moderating and hopes that the Fed would ease off from its aggressive campaign of rate rises. 

The rally—which had pushed the S&P 500 to its highest level since April—has been tempered after minutes from the Fed’s July meeting indicated policy makers are still willing to raise rates more than currently anticipated if inflation fails to abate. Still, officials said they would be cautious, acknowledging the risk that too much monetary policy tightening could cause economic pain. 

“Sentiment has become a lot less negative but I’d be reluctant to say things are bullish. We still have a lot of constraints, lots of uncertainty, and a profits recession is coming,” said Joe Little, global chief strategist at

HSBC Asset Management.

“There is still a narrow pathway toward a ‘soft landing’ but it is getting harder and harder to achieve.” 

Bed Bath & Beyond

fell 12% in premarket trading after investor Ryan Cohen filed to sell his stake in the company. The premarket losses reverse some of the stock’s recent, frenzied gains driven by individual investors in moves reminiscent of last year’s meme stock craze. 

New applications for unemployment benefits inched down last week, suggesting the jobs market is holding up despite signs of weakness in the broader economy. Existing home sales data, due at 10 a.m. ET, are expected to show a further cooling of the U.S. housing market as mortgage rates weigh on sales. 

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note declined to 2.870% from 2.894% on Wednesday. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

In commodity markets, Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, rose 1.6% to $95.19 a barrel, easings its decline for the month to 8%. The prospect of weakening demand and additional supplies have dragged on crude prices in recent weeks. Gold prices edged up 0.4%.

Traders worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.



Photo:

BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.2%. Dutch payments processor Adyen slumped 12% after reporting higher costs and revenue that missed analysts’ forecasts.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.8% and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5%.

Write to Will Horner at [email protected]

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