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Wall Street Futures Steady Amid Fed Uncertainty and Profit-Taking in Tech Sector

U.S. stock index futures remained largely unchanged during evening trading on Tuesday, stabilizing following a lackluster start to the second quarter on Wall Street. Investor confidence wavered amidst uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve’s potential interest rate adjustments and in anticipation of crucial payroll data.

Profit-taking in various high-performing sectors, particularly in technology, contributed to the subdued atmosphere after these sectors drove U.S. stock indexes to record highs in the previous quarter.

At 19:11 ET (23:11 GMT), S&P 500 Futures edged down by 0.02% to 5,259.50 points, Nasdaq 100 Futures dipped 0.01% to 18,328.75 points, and Dow Jones Futures fell by 0.04% to 39,491.0 points.

Following a couple of sessions marked by significant declines, futures stabilized, responding to recent remarks from key Federal Reserve officials, which tempered expectations of imminent interest rate cuts. While the Fed had adopted a somewhat dovish stance during its March meeting, subsequent comments from officials emphasized concerns over persistent inflation and robust labor market conditions, dampening hopes for early rate cuts.

Market sentiment was further influenced by the latest data, with the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index for February indicating ongoing inflationary pressures, while anticipation mounted for the release of March’s nonfarm payrolls data, scheduled for Friday. Traders, reacting to these factors, adjusted their expectations for a 25 basis point rate cut in June, as indicated by the CME Fedwatch tool.

Concerns regarding prolonged higher interest rates prompted a retreat from near-record highs for Wall Street indexes over the past two sessions. The S&P 500 declined by 0.7% to 5,205.81 points, the NASDAQ Composite dropped nearly 1% to 16,240.24 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced the sharpest decline among its counterparts, down by 1% at 39,170.24 points.

Technology stocks bore the brunt of the downturn, exacerbated by rising Treasury yields amid expectations of sustained higher interest rates. Notable technology companies such as NVIDIA Corporation and Intel Corporation experienced declines, with NVIDIA falling by 0.3% in aftermarket trading following a significant drop from its March record highs, and Intel sliding by 3.8% after disclosing substantial operating losses for its foundry business through 2023.

Tesla Inc also faced downward pressure, extending losses by 0.4% after a 4.9% decline on Tuesday, prompted by a quarterly drop in deliveries, the first in nearly four years.

In the healthcare sector, insurers such as Humana Inc, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, and CVS Health Corp stabilized in aftermarket trading following significant losses on Tuesday. These losses were attributed to the U.S. government’s decision not to increase payment rates for private Medicare plans.

UBS Bolsters U.S. Equity Capital Markets Leadership with Trio of Banking Veterans

UBS has tapped into the expertise of three seasoned bankers to spearhead its equity capital markets (ECM) division in the U.S., aiming to bolster its operations following the challenges posed by its acquisition of Credit Suisse last year. Gregor Feige and Brad Miller have been appointed co-heads of Americas ECM, with Feige also assuming leadership of the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector starting July 2024.

With over two decades of experience at Citigroup and JPMorgan, Feige brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role. Miller, concurrently serving as head of consumer and retail, will take on the additional responsibilities. Santiago Gilfond, who led Americas ECM at Credit Suisse for more than 30 years, joins UBS as vice-chairman of the unit, reporting to global co-head of ECM Tommy Rueger. Gilfond will continue to oversee global industrials while taking on his new role.

UBS’s merger with Credit Suisse marked a significant milestone in banking history, prompting a strategic focus on fortifying its position in ECM and expanding its presence in the technology sector. These appointments signal UBS’s commitment to navigating the evolving financial landscape with strength and agility.

Investing on a Wednesday is like hitting the midweek jackpot in the financial casino – you’ve made it through the Monday blues and the Tuesday slump, so why not sprinkle a little fiscal magic into your hump day? It’s the perfect day to turn those midweek woes into financial wins and show the market who’s boss. So grab your coffee, channel your inner Warren Buffett, and let’s make those portfolios sing with Wednesday wisdom!