U.S. stock futures weakened Friday, with Wall Street on course to post a losing week with sentiment hit by the potential for further monetary tightening later in the year.
The three main equity averages closed in a mixed fashion Thursday, but the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average is on course to drop 1% this week, the broad-based S&P 500 0.6%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 0.4% lower, breaking multi-week win streaks.
Fed speakers in focus
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeated his view that the U.S. central bank is likely to hike interest rates a couple of more times, during the second day of his semi-annual testimony on Thursday.
“We don’t want to do more than we have to,” Powell said, to the Senate Banking Committee. “Overwhelmingly people on the (Federal Open Market) Committee do think that there’s more rate hikes coming but we want to make them at a pace that allows us to see incoming information.”
The market now sees a greater than 75% probability that the next rate hike will come in July, and investors will focus on comments from a series of Fed officials, including St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, for more clues of future monetary policy.
PMI data looms large
The main economic release Friday will be the June purchasing managers’ index surveys, which are expected to show the country’s manufacturing activity stagnating while the services sector still expands.
However, this follows surprisingly soft readings in the euro zone, Japan, and Britain, suggesting downside risk is a possibility.
Oil lower; Hefty weekly losses likely
Crude prices weakened Friday, heading for chunky weekly losses after the series of interest rate hikes, and warnings of more to come in the U.S., raised concerns of global demand growth.
The aggressive stance taken by a number of central banks this week has raised fears that economic activity will suffer, hitting oil demand this year.