Upgrade Now

US pre-open: Futures point to gains ahead of Powell's Jackson Hole address

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 23 Aug 2019

US pre-open: Futures point to gains ahead of Powell's Jackson Hole address

(Sharecast News) - US stock futures were pointing to a positive open on Friday as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day.
As of 1200 BST, Dow futures were up 0.28%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were 0.31% and 0.43% higher, respectively.

Investors were looking ahead to a speech from Fed chair Jerome Powell, due at 1500 BST. Powell will have to present a unified voice on Fed policy from what has been one of the most divided Federal Reserves in recent times.

Both the Fed and Powell have suffered an unprecedented amount of criticism from Donald Trump as the US economy weakened and recession warnings started flashing red - leaving the President searching for someone else to blame as Washington's trade war with China has taken its toll heading into an election year.

Oanda's Craig Elam said: "Powell may not have endeared himself to large numbers of people this year, none less than the President that promoted him, but everyone will be hanging on his every word today when he speaks at Jackson Hole.

"Unfortunately for the Fed, the markets have very much turned against them now and are demanding swift and aggressive action. Trump will be very pleased. The Fed is clearly very reluctant and split, as comments from various officials on Thursday highlighted, which makes me think markets are positioned for disappointment."

Erlam added that given what had already been heard from Jackson Hole, it was hard to imagine Powell will be as dovish as markets were both demanding and expecting.

"There seems to be a lot of optimism and I'm still unconvinced he'll deliver which begs the question, just how disappointed will markets be? I fear the recession sirens may be ringing out loud going into the weekend," he said.

Fed funds futures were pricing a likelihood of almost 90% for a 25 basis point rate cut at the September meeting.

On the macroeconomic calendar, new home sales figures for July will be published at 1500 BST.

On the corporate front, Foot Locker and Buckle will update investors with their latest quarterly figures.


Email this article to a friend

or share it with one of these popular networks:

Top of Page