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Stock futures are little changed as investors dwell on health of the economy


A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., May 18, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday night as economic concerns dragged down investor sentiment.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower by 13 points, or 0.04%. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.02%, and Nasdaq 100 futures were lower by 0.02%.

Shares of pet retailer Chewy surged after hours by nearly 20% after the company reported strong quarterly results. Apparel retailer PVH also got a lift from earnings, with shares adding more than 4%.

Meanwhile, Hewlett Packard Enterprise fell more than 6% following slight misses on both earnings and revenue.

In regular trading, stocks started June with declines amid choppy trading. The Dow shed 176.89 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 fell nearly 0.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.7%.

Sentiment was heavy after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned that an economic “hurricane” caused by the Federal Reserve and the war in Ukraine is brewing. He said his company is “going to be very conservative with our balance sheet.”

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On top of that, new data suggests the economy is still running hot. The number of April job openings, released Wednesday, declined sharply from the previous month — but the findings suggest the job market remains tight. Further, the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing PMI came in at 56.1 for May, up from 55.4 the month before.

“The market remained choppy with a negative bias to start the month of June,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “Inflation remains a headline concern as underscored by higher oil prices and consumer concerns in the Fed’s Beige Book economic report.”

Indeed, the central bank’s report showed the U.S. has been seeing just “slight or modest” economic growth over the past two months or so.

“Our view is cautious as we close out the second quarter,” Haworth added. “Global central bank uncertainty and the pace of tighter monetary policy, still-tight global energy and agriculture markets — which may lead to higher prices still — and headwinds for corporate earnings growth are risks for investors moving forward.”

Retail earnings continue this week, with Designer Brands, Lululemon Athletica and RH set to report on Thursday. Big tech names like CrowdStrike and Okta are also on deck.

Investors are also monitoring employment data for insights into how employers and workers are managing inflation. ADP will post data from its national employment report at 8:15 a.m. ET on Thursday, shortly before the Department of Labor releases weekly jobless claims.



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