U.S. stock futures remain narrowly mixed ahead of the market open on Wednesday as early indicators suggest a lack of direction. While most earnings reports have been positive, there have been some disappointments too. The focus once again shifts to speeches by Federal Reserve officials, as traders seek clarity on the potential schedule for rate cuts. Additionally, market participants will be monitoring the 10-year note auction and the Congressional Budget Office‘s briefing on the economic outlook.
Cues From Tuesday’s Trading
U.S. stocks closed Tuesday’s session with modest gains amid ongoing earnings releases. However, uncertainty persisted regarding potential rate cuts, with comments from Federal Reserve officials offering mixed signals. While Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari suggested continued vigilance on inflation, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester hinted at possible rate cuts if economic conditions align with expectations. Despite opening higher, stocks relinquished early gains before staging a late-session rally. The S&P 500 Index and the Dow Industrials ended below their previous all-time highs, with IT and communication services facing selling pressure while material, healthcare, and real estate sectors outperformed.
US Index Performance On Tuesday
|S&P 500 Index
Even as the economy remains strong and earnings exceed expectations, an analyst warned of looming risks in the near term. Commonwealth Financial Network Chief Investment Officer Brad McMillan said stock prices could be cushioned by earnings growth outperforming expectations.
“While interest rates and valuations could be a challenge, the strong economy and earnings growth will potentially more than offset that,” he said.
The key issues, the analyst said, will be “how fast the economy grows and what that means for inflation.” “Market expectations on rates have changed rapidly but are now more aligned with reality, so the effects of the Fed are likely to be less negative going forward,” he said.
“While the trends remain positive, risks could increase over the next couple of…