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Aug 30, 2016

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications, by MarketWatch on August 30, 2016: Wall Street Faces Choppy Day as Traders Wait for Rate Clues

www.marketwatch.com


marketwatch.com
 
Sara Sjolin
 
U.S. stock futures struggled for direction on Tuesday, with investors playing a waiting game in the runup to the key jobs report later this week, as they weigh the prospects for an interest rate rise.

Investors will be watching comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer later this morning, to see whether he continues the hawkish tone taken by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU6, -0.02%  rose 1 point to 18,490, while those for the S&P 500 index ESU6, -0.06%  slipped 0.80 point to 2,178.50. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQU6, -0.22%  were down 1.50 points to 4,791.50.
“Tuesday is likely to be one of the quieter days in an otherwise busy and important week for the markets, with investors having one eye on Friday’s U.S. jobs report following Janet Yellen’s hawkish comments at Jackson Hole on Friday,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.
U.S. stock markets closed higher on Monday, rebounding from Yellen-fueled losses. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.52% rose 0.5% Monday, while the Dow average DJIA, +0.58% ended 0.6% higher.
In her Jackson Hole comments, Yellen said the U.S. economy is improving, and that strengthens the case for an increase in interest rates this year. The nonfarm payrolls report at the end of the week will be assessed as to how it affects the prospects for tighter policy, and whether that could come as soon as the September meeting.
“Should we get a strong jobs report for August, then the next FOMC decision in three weeks will absolutely be a live meeting, whether markets want to accept that or not,” Erlam said.
“A weak report probably leaves us back at square one from where the markets are positioned, because even now, they’re reluctant to buy what the Fed is selling,” he added.
Economic docket: Fischer appears on Bloomberg TV between 6:30 and 7 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday. The Fed’s vice chairman heightened expectations for an imminent rate hike on Friday, when he said Yellen’s comments were “consistent” with possibly two rate hikes this year.
In data releases, consumer confidence for August is due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. It is expected to slide back to 97.0 from 97.3 in July, according to economists polled by MarketWatch.
See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar
Movers and shakers: Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.11%  slipped 0.3% premarket on reports the European Union’s antitrust regulator will rule the tech giant’s tax deals in Ireland were illegal. Analysts have estimated Apple could be ordered to pay back up $19 billion in taxes.
United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL, +0.17%  rose 3.3% ahead of the bell after the airline late Monday said it has named Scott Kirby as president. Kirby was previously president at American Airlines Group Inc. AAL, -0.17%  .
Shares of Hershey Co. HSY, +0.71%  could be active after Mondelez International Inc. MDLZ, -0.05%  said late Monday it has ended its bid to acquire the chocolate maker.
Other markets: Asian markets closed mostly higher, rebounding from losses on Monday.
It was a similar story in Europe, where all major indexes traded in positive territory.
Oil futures CLV6, +0.77% LCOV6, +0.71%  rallied, while metals dropped across the board. The dollar rose against other major currencies, with the ICE Dollar Index DXY, +0.21%  climbed 0.2% to 95.785.