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US Stock Futures Slide Ahead of Super Tuesday as Uncertainty Looms Over Interest Rates

In the evening hours of Monday, US stock index futures experienced a downturn, mirroring the retreat seen on Wall Street. Traders pulled back from recent record highs due to uncertainty surrounding the trajectory of US interest rates. Additionally, apprehension ahead of “Super Tuesday,” when 15 states were scheduled to hold

Presidential Election Primaries, contributed to market losses. This event was anticipated to set the stage for a rematch between President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump.

S&P 500 Futures edged down by 0.1% to 5,132.75 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures declined by 0.2% to 18,232.0 points, and Dow Jones Futures slipped by 0.1% to 38,974.00 points by 19:12 ET (00:12 GMT).

On Monday, Wall Street indexes retreated from their record peaks, primarily impacted by technology stock losses. Notably, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) faced a 2% decline after receiving a substantial $2 billion antitrust fine in Europe. This setback in Apple shares prompted broader profit-taking in the technology sector, which had been enjoying a robust rally fueled by optimism surrounding artificial intelligence.

The S&P 500 closed down by 0.1% at 5,130.95 points, while the NASDAQ Composite dropped by 0.4% to 16,207.51 points. Similarly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.3% to 38,989.83 points. Despite these declines, all three indexes remained close to the record highs achieved the previous week.

Attention turned to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s upcoming two-day testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday for fresh insights into monetary policy. Analysts anticipated Powell to maintain a hawkish stance and reaffirm the need for convincing evidence that inflation is nearing the central bank’s annual 2% target.

Several Fed officials cautioned against premature bets on rate cuts, citing concerns about persistent inflationary pressures and the resilience of the US economy. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic warned on Monday that premature speculation on rate cuts could exacerbate inflationary trends. Nevertheless, analysts predicted that the Fed would gather adequate conviction by June to initiate rate adjustments.

Following Powell’s testimony, market focus shifted to the release of key nonfarm payrolls data for February later in the week.

In aftermarket trading, Apple Inc experienced a further decline of 0.3% after its 2% daytime drop, with the company announcing its intention to contest the $2 billion fine. Gitlab Inc (NASDAQ:GTLB) witnessed a substantial 21% slide after disappointing investors with weaker-than-expected first-quarter guidance.

Albemarle Corp (NYSE:ALB), an aluminum producer, saw its shares tumble by 7% after announcing a $1.75 billion share offering, compounded by ongoing weakness in commodity prices.

Conversely, drone manufacturer AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ:AVAV) surged by nearly 20% following robust earnings performance.

Chubb Limited Announces $1 Billion Senior Notes Offering to Bolster Corporate Funds

Chubb Limited (NYSE: CB), a prominent player in the insurance industry globally, has revealed plans through its subsidiary, Chubb INA Holdings Inc., to issue senior notes worth $1 billion with a 5.000% interest rate, set to mature in 2034. These notes, backed by Chubb Limited’s guarantee, will bolster the company’s general corporate funds.

The funds raised from this offering will be allocated to various corporate endeavors, notably including the repayment of the company’s $700 million senior notes carrying a 3.35% interest rate, due on May 15, 2024. Chubb’s decision to engage in new debt issuance aligns with its overarching financial management strategy.

The joint book-running managers for this offering are Citigroup Global Markets Inc., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC. Interested parties can access the prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus required for the offering through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR website or by contacting the joint book-running managers directly.

Chubb operates across 54 countries and territories, offering a comprehensive suite of insurance products encompassing commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance, and life insurance. The company distinguishes itself through its underwriting prowess, robust financial standing, and its commitment to delivering swift and fair claims service.

On Super Tuesday, while politicians are busy making promises, savvy investors are strategically positioning their portfolios for the market’s next move. It’s not about picking the winning candidate, but rather predicting the winning stocks. So, grab your popcorn, watch the political drama unfold, and remember: in the world of investing, every vote counts… for your portfolio’s bottom line!