US Stocks – Futures fell ahead of Powell’s comments

US Stocks – Futures fell ahead of Powell’s comments

(For Reuters live blogging on US, UK and European stock markets, click or type LIVE/ in the news window.)

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Powell’s remarks are scheduled for 9:15 a.m. ET

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Under Armor raises annual margin forecast

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Spirit AeroSystems collapses as the company looks to raise money

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Futures: Dow Jones, S&P, Nasdaq down 0.10%

(Updated at 7:17 a.m. ET/1217 GMT)

Written by Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A

November 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stock futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at a conference to gauge his view on interest rates and the state of the economy.

Treasury yields fell sharply from their highs on expectations that the Federal Reserve has reached the end of its interest rate hike, helping the S&P 500 and Nasdaq post their longest streak of gains in two years on Tuesday.

Markets are now pricing in interest rate cuts as soon as May, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, with the odds of a cut of at least 25 basis points rising to nearly 52%, compared to about 41% the week before.

However, dovish comments from several central bank officials over the past few days have kept investors on edge, with Fed Governor Michelle Bowman signaling the possibility of further rate hikes given the strength of the US economy.

All eyes will be on Powell’s opening remarks to the Fed’s Centennial Conference at 9:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT) for further clues on how long U.S. monetary policy could remain tight.

The Fed chairman is also scheduled to speak at another conference on Thursday.

“Equities may pause for breath as investors balance hope of lower interest rates with growing financial pressures in the economy,” Derryn Nathan, head of equity research at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note.

“This would not be the first time…the market has been wrong about the timing of the Fed’s pivot.”

The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds settled at 4.5894%, below the 5% level that was breached in October.

Analysts have mixed views on the outlook for stocks towards the end of the year, with some cautiously optimistic about the upside potential, while others highlight the possibility of economic growth concerns and tepid earnings forecasts keeping sentiment low.

On the earnings front, Biogen stock added 1.4% in pre-market trading after the pharmaceutical company beat third-quarter earnings estimates.

Under the armor

It added 1.9% after raising its annual gross margin forecast as the sportswear maker benefited from cost cuts.

At 7:18 a.m. EST, Dow e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.01%, the S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.75 points, or 0.04%, and the Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 15 points, or 0.1%.

Among other moving stocks, electric car maker Rivian Automotive rose 8.8% in pre-opening trading after it raised its production forecast for the full year, while the stock of its smaller competitor, Lucid Group, fell 5.8% after it lowered its production forecast.

Take-Two Interactive Software rose 9.1% after a report that its Rockstar Games unit plans to announce the next “Grand Theft Auto” game as early as this week.

Shares of Spirit AeroSystems fell 13.2% after the beleaguered aviation supplier announced new capital-raising measures. (Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar; Editing by Maju Samuel and Anil D’Silva)

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