Despite expectations of a lower start, the main Wall Street indices painted more of a mixed picture on Wednesday morning.
In the opening minutes of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the weak link, down 0.111% at 28,217, while the S&P 500 was up 0.12% at 3,447 and the Nasdaq rose 0.55% to 11,529.
Some traders still seem to be holding off ahead of Powell’s speech on Thursday, which Markets.com’s Neil Wilson said was likely to see the Fed chair “tee up a new monetary policy framework based around average inflation targeting (AIT)”.
“We should note that this is set to be the culmination of a nearly two-year process to review the strategies, tools, and communication practices it uses to pursue its congressionally assigned mandate of maximum employment and price stability. At its July meeting the FOMC indicated it was near to finishing after Covid-related delays. Tomorrow we should hear Powell announce some key conclusions from the review. AIT is what the market chatter is all about – yield curve control was largely dismissed at the last FOMC meeting, so I would not anticipate Powell to signal that the FOMC has suddenly come round to the idea”, he said.
7.35am: Lower open expected on Wall Street
Wall Street’s main indices are expected to turn negative on Wednesday as traders keep their powder dry ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium starting on Thursday, particularly the speech from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.
Nonetheless, the Dow and NASDAQ have stunned with their August rallies, perhaps helped by a simmering of US-China tensions and a lower number of new coronavirus cases.
“The outperformance of US markets is also no doubt being helped by optimism ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s speech later this week, which is likely to reinforce the US central bank’s commitment to do whatever it takes to support the US economy, at this very challenging time,” said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.
“US economic data continues to paint a mixed picture of the US economy, with consumer confidence sliding back sharply in August to its lowest level in six years, over concerns about the state of the US economy, the outlook for jobs against a backdrop of partisan politicians, and the recent lapsing of the US$600 a week unemployment enhancement, which has restricted the ability of US consumers to spend any more than they have to, to get by“, he added.
Five things to watch for on Wednesday
- US durable goods orders for the month of July, data which is likely to provide more clarity on the underlying state of the American economy as it tried to recover from the pandemic downturn. July’s figure is expected to rise by 2%, excluding transportation, down from 3.3% in June. Orders for non-defense capital goods are also likely to be watched closely as a barometer for business spending
- Earnings data and share price reaction from jeweler Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) following news earlier this week that the group has delayed a US$16.2bn merger with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE by three months
- Figures from retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS), which has been tipped by some analysts as heading for an earnings beat
- Speeches from the president of the Richmond Fed Tom Barkin and San Francisco Fed boss Mary Daly, which may provide some extra flavor for Powell’s speech on Thursday
- Political developments from the third day of the Republican National Convention, with vice president Mike Pence among the scheduled speakers
Story by ProactiveInvestors
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