(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday following a sharp rally in megacap growth stocks in the previous session that fizzled out on fears of aggressive monetary policy tightening and slowing economic growth.
Rate-sensitive Big Tech and growth companies such as Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc, Google owner-Alphabet Inc, Meta Platforms, Tesla Inc and Amazon.com fell between 0.6% and 1.5% in premarket trading after a sharp rebound on Tuesday.
Yields on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury hovered near 3%. [US/]
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed more than 2% higher in the previous session after strong April retail sales eased worries about slowing economic growth.
Tuesday’s rally followed weeks of selling on the U.S. stock market that last week saw the S&P 500 coming close to confirming a bear market from its record close on Jan. 3.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the U.S central bank will keep “pushing” on rate hikes until it sees inflation move down in a “clear and convincing way”, not hesitating to move more aggressively if that does not happen.
Traders are pricing in a 85.3% probability of a 50 basis point interest rate hike in June.
“It seems that for now he (Powell) is sticking to his guns of 50 bps increases for the next couple of meetings … he is not totally dismissing the chance for 75 bps hikes in a few months if inflation does not come down,” Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group, said.
“So with that in mind, we cannot confidently say that the latest recovery in equities is the start of a bullish reversal … we will consider the current recovery as a corrective move.”
Uncertainty about Fed policy moves has weighed on the markets recently, that is already reeling from concerns about a global economic slowdown due to the conflict in Ukraine, soaring inflation, prolonged supply chain snarls and pandemic-related lockdowns in China.
The S&P 500 is down 14.2% so far in 2022 and the Nasdaq has fallen more than 23%, hit by growth stocks.
At 7:04 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 112 points, or 0.34%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.5 points, or 0.48%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 86.25 points, or 0.69%.
Among other stocks, Target Corp fell 21.7% after the retailer’s first-quarter profit halved and it warned of a bigger margin hit due to rising fuel and freight costs.
Lowe’s Cos Inc slipped 2.5% after reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in same-store sales, as demand eased for its home-improvement tools and building materials from pandemic highs.
(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)