Stock-index futures point higher as trade-inspired selloff pauses

Stock-index futures edged higher Thursday, indicating a respite in selling blamed on continued U.S.-China trade tensions and worries about global economic growth, as investors awaited an updated look at first-quarter gross domestic product data.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMM19, +0.18%  rose 35 points, or 0.1%, to 25,144, while S&P 500 futures ESM19, +0.28%  gained 6.65 points, or 0.2%, to 2,786.75. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM19, +0.30%  were up 16 points, or 0.2%, at 7,232.

What’s driving the market?

Stocks fell Wednesday as investors continued to flock to haven assets, including U.S. Treasurys. The Dow DJIA, -0.87%  fell 221.36 points, or 0.9%, to end at 25,126.41, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.69%  shed 19.37 points, or 0.7%, to 2,783.02. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.79% gave up 60.04 points to 7,547.31, a drop of 0.8%.

The bounce for futures comes despite no signs of progress on the U.S.-China trade front. Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said Beijing opposes a trade war, but is “not afraid of a trade war,” according to news reports. “This kind of deliberately provoking trade disputes is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying,” Zhang said.

A rally in government bonds that took the yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.04%  to its lowest level since September 2017 and deepened the inversion of the yield curve, with the rate on the 10-year note sinking further below the yield on the 3-month T-bill TMUBMUSD03M, +0.00% was blamed for stoking recession fears. Yields move in the opposite direction of bond prices.

Read: Here’s why stock-market investors should worry about the slump in Treasury yields

Also see: Investors are ‘overreacting’ to yield-curve inversion: analyst

Treasury prices retreated modestly early Thursday, with yields edging back up. The yield on the 10-year note was

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