Dow Futures Largely Flat; Fed Speakers, Apple Sales in Focus

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Dow Futures Largely Flat; Fed Speakers, Apple Sales in Focus
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening largely unchanged Wednesday, remaining near the lows this year as investors price in further interest rate hikes and a deeper earnings slowdown.

At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 15 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 4 points, or 0.1% lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 65 points, or 0.6%.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 125 points, or 0.4%, lower, closing lower for the sixth consecutive day, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.2%, closing at its new low this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite managed to gain 0.3%, but all three major averages are now in bear market territory.

The Federal Reserve is determined to tackle inflation running at levels not seen for 40 years, with a number of policymakers making this clear in recent interviews.

Expectations are running high that the Fed will authorize another big interest rate increase at the November meeting, but this is leaving investors worried that the central bank will tighten too aggressively, tipping the U.S. economy into recession.

More Fed officials are scheduled to speak Wednesday, throughout the day, including Chair Jerome Powell , and their comments will be studied carefully for clues to future policy.

There is another update about the housing market Wednesday after Tuesday’s strong new home sales number. August’s pending home sales are due at 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT), and the number is expected to fall 1.4% from the prior month.

In corporate news, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) stock fell more than 3% premarket following a Bloomberg report that the tech giant had shelved its plan to increase production of its new iPhones on weak demand.

Oil prices bounced Wednesday as traders factored in supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Ian, outweighing pressure from a strengthening dollar and crude storage builds.

Hurricane Ian has become a dangerous Category 4 storm and is bearing down on Florida, away from the heart of the drilling and refining industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

That said, around 190,000 barrels per day of oil production, or 11% of the Gulf's total has so far been shut-in, according to offshore regulator the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The weekly oil inventory data from the Energy Information Administration is due later in the session, and follows the American Petroleum Institute indicating that U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 4 million barrels last week, much more than expected.

The dollar hit a fresh two-decade peak earlier Wednesday, which makes dollar-denominated crude more expensive for foreign buyers.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $78.91 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.5% to $85.26.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,638.80/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% lower at 0.9554.

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