Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq futures indicate a muted start on Wall Street today; all eyes on FOMC minutes

Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq futures: The three main Wall Street indices — the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — are set for a muted start on Wednesday, a day after the three suffered their worst single-day losses of 2023 thanks to fears of a prolonged period of steep hikes in benchmark interest rates among investors. All eyes are now on minutes of the last policy review of the Federal Open Market Committee — the Fed’s interest rate-deciding panel — due later in the day for cues.

Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures were each down 0.1 per cent at the last count on Wednesday evening in India, ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street. MSCI’s All-Country World Equity index, which broadly captures global equity movement, was down 1.5 per cent. 

The minor losses in the futures contracts of US benchmark indices follow a sea of red across major markets across Europe and Asia, including a wild session on Dalal Street where main gauges Sensex and Nifty50 tumbled 1.5 per cent each amid a broad-based sell-off. ALSO READ: All Adani group stocks bleed; a look at latest in Adani vs Hindenburg

How Dow Jones, Nasdaq futures moved

Here’s a look at how futures of the three Wall Street indices, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, fared at 5:40 pm in India:

  • S&P 500: down 2.5 pts — or 0.1 per cent — at 4,003.3
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: down 20 pts — or 0.1 per cent — at 33,142 
  • Nasdaq Composite: down 15.7 pts — or 0.1 per cent — at 12,081

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones index finished 2.1 per cent lower, the S&P 500 fell two per cent and the Nasdaq Composite — which has mega US tech stocks such as Meta (Facebook), Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (Google) as heavyweights — slumped 2.5 per cent. That marked their worst single-day fall of the year so far, as investors returned to trade after a long weekend on account of the Presidents Day holiday.

What spooked Wall Street bulls on February 21

Tuesday’s slide came about as investors interpreted a rebound in business activity in the world’s largest economy to mean interest rates could need to stay at elevated levels for longer than anticipated earlier in a bid to tame red-hot inflation. It was a third back-to-back fall for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each. 

A PMI reading showed business activity in the US returned to expansion after a gap of eight months. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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