Market Snapshot

U.S. stock futures lean higher after difficult week on Wall Street

The S&P 500 has declined for three straight sessions.

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U.S. stock futures leaned high early Friday, some respite in what’s been a difficult week in markets.

What’s happening

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, -0.13% rose 52 points, or 0.2%, to 34900.
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.13% gained 7 points, or 0.2%, to 4463.
  • Nasdaq 100 futures NQ00, -0.06% increased 36 points, or 0.2%, to 15513.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA rose 58 points, or 0.17%, to 34501, while the S&P 500 SPX declined 14 points, or 0.32%, to 4451, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP dropped 124 points, or 0.89%, to 13749.

The S&P 500 closed lower for a third consecutive session, a time period in which the key index has declined 1.4%. It’s gained nearly 16% this year.

What’s driving markets

Several Federal Reserve officials on Thursday made it clear there’s unlikely to be a rate hike in September, though some, like Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan after the market close, suggested further increases may need to come later.

A surprise decline in weekly jobless claims to mid-February levels, a day after a surprisingly strong reading of a services sentiment gauge, has unsettled investors hoping for a gradual deceleration in the U.S. economy to stomp out inflation.

“In recent conversations with institutional investors, it is clear to us that investors are incrementally nervous. Foremost is their concern that economic momentum has been improving at a pace that might warrant the Fed to have to increase the path of hikes,” said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat.

Two days of losses for Apple’s AAPL, -2.92% stock, on concerns over Chinese government restrictions to iPhone use, also proved to be a headwind. “When a tech giant like Apple, with a market cap of nearly $2.8 trillion sneezes, the whole market catches a cold,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

There aren’t any major economic or corporate releases set for Friday, with the highlight being a speech from San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly at 11 a.m. Eastern. Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr is speaking at 9 a.m. at a payments conference, and the quarterly financial accounts of the U.S. will be released at noon.

The crucial consumer price index for August will be released on Wednesday.