(Reuters) – Dow futures fell on Wednesday as renewed fears about the pace of a post-pandemic recovery dented demand for economically senstive sectors and sent investors to the perceived safety of technology-related stocks including Apple and Amazon.com.
Industrials Caterpillar Inc, Boeing Co and 3M Co, which generally perform better at a time of strong economic growth, shed between 0.2% and 0.4% in premarket trading.
Bank stocks JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co fell as much as 0.2%, a day after the S&P 500 logged its worst day in about a month on the back of a bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. retail sales.
After six straight months of gains for the S&P 500, trading on Wall Street’s main indexes has been more volatile in August – a seasonally weak period for financial markets – as concerns about slowing U.S. growth and the spread of the Delta variant took the shine off a solid corporate earnings season.
Focus on Wednesday will be on the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, with investors looking for insight into the central bank’s debate over when to end its pandemic-era emergency programs.
Analysts expect the Fed to announce its plan for a “taper” of its asset purchases as early as its Sept. 21-22 meeting.
At 7:22 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 80 points, or 0.23%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.09%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.25 points, or 0.1%.
Oil stocks Exxon Mobil, Schlumberger NV and Occidental Petroleum were up between 0.3% and 1.1%, tracking crude prices higher. [O/R]
The S&P energy index has fallen 4.4% in the past four sessions amid fears of slowing global growth.
Amazon, Apple and other heavyweight tech stocks Google-owner Alphabet Inc and Tesla Inc rose between 0.2% and 1.2%.
The stocks had led Wall Street’s recovery from its coronavirus lows last year as investors flocked to names seen to benefit from higher demand during widespread lockdowns.
Lowe’s Cos Inc rose 4.3% after it forecast full-year sales above estimates on a rise in spending from builders and handymen getting back to housing projects.
Target Corp, on the other hand, slipped 1.1% despite beating analysts’ estimates for same-store sales. The retailer’s stock has jumped about 44% year-to-date.
Earnings reports from online brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc, chipmaker Nvidia Corp, network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc, lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret & Co and Bath & Body Works are due after market close on Wednesday.
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