Stock futures were mixed Monday morning to steady after last week’s gains, while energy prices resumed a march higher.
Contracts on the S&P 500 edged higher, while those on the Dow and Nasdaq traded slightly lower. Trader’s paused after last week’s gains, when the S&P 500 posted its first weekly advance in three weeks and its largest since November 2020. The Treasury yield curve steepened, and the benchmark 10-year yield rose to close back in on 2.2%.
Energy and commodity prices spiked amid the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine. As of Monday, Ukraine refused to surrender its heavily attacked port city of Mariupol to Russian forces, while the civilian death toll across Ukraine climbed.
U.S. crude oil prices (CL=F) jumped more than 4% to top $109 per barrel, and Brent crude, the international standard, (BZ=F), rose to about $113 per barrel. Aluminum, palladium and wheat prices each also gained Monday morning.
At the start of a relatively quiet week for corporate earnings results and new economic data, traders continued to mull the market implications of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy decision against persistently elevated inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has exacerbated existing price pressures.
The Federal Reserve’s move last week to raise interest rates by a quarter-point and signal another six rate hikes later this year was met with an at least momentary rally in U.S. equities, with traders relieved to receive some clarity on the central bank’s monetary path forward after weeks of speculation. And the Fed also signaled the likely start of discussions and then implementation of quantitative tightening, or rolling assets off its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet.
“The key message to come from meetings of the Federal Reserve and Bank of England last week, and the European Central Bank the week before, was that the war in Ukraine has not deterred central bankers from their plans to tighten policy,” Neil Shearing, group chief economist for Capital Economics, wrote in a note. “In fact, both the Fed and the ECB delivered hawkish surprises.”
“The war has added to the squeeze on real incomes in advanced economies and caused a substantial tightening of financial conditions in Europe. But, for now, central banks remain focused on bringing down inflation and containing any second-round effects on wages and prices. This is, on balance, the correct judgement,” he added. “While the economic outlook is unusually uncertain, the high starting point for inflation – and the likelihood that it will rise further – justifies a tightening of policy.”
8:51 a.m. ET: Fed’s Bostic sees six total rate hikes this year given ‘elevated levels of uncertainty’
Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic said Monday he saw the central bank raising interest rates a total of six times this year, representing a more dovish outlook than many of his peers offered in the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest Summary of Economic Projections (SEP).
Bostic, who is not a voting member this year on the FOMC, said in a keynote address Monday morning at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Policy Conference, that he “penciled in six rate hikes for 2022 and two more for 2023” in the Fed’s most recent SEP released last Wednesday.
“I recognize that I am toward the bottom of the distribution relative to my colleagues, but the elevated levels of uncertainty are front forward in my mind and have tempered my confidence that an extremely aggressive rate path is appropriate today,” Bostic said. “Events are shifting rapidly, and we could see marked changes along key dimensions, such as aggregate demand, that could warrant quickly adjusting the trajectory of policy.”
“Here the risks go both ways. Should demand falter in the face of economic uncertainty or removal of monetary policy accommodation, then the appropriate path may be shallower than I currently project,” he added. “But there are other developments, such as shifts in supply strategies, that could mean higher costs and thus motivate a steeper policy path than I expect.”
8:37 a.m. ET: Chicago Fed National Activity Index shows modest deceleration in economic growth in Feb.
The Chicago Federal Reserve’s monthly National Activity Index fell slightly more than expected in February, reflecting a moderate deceleration in U.S. economic growth.
The headline index ticked down to 0.51 for February, the Chicago Fed said Monday morning. This dropped for 0.59 in January, which was in turn revised slightly lower from the 0.69 previously reported. Readings of 0 are consistent with U.S. economic growth rates at the average historical trend, while readings above zero indicate growth.
Of the 85 monthly economic indicators comprising the index, 61 made positive contributions, while 24 detracted from the index during February.
8:20 a.m. ET: Boeing shares drop after 737 passenger jet crashes in China
Shares of Dow component Boeing (BA) fell Monday morning in pre-market trading after a passenger plane with more than 130 people on board crashed in China’s Guangxi province.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China confirmed the crash of the Boeing 737 jet, which was operated by China Eastern Airlines. The number of casualties following the crash remains unknown, and Chinese officials have dispatched a rescue team to the crash site.
Shares of Boeing dropped more than 6% in early trading. The stock has fallen by 4.2% for the year-to-date through Friday’s close.
7:40 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures mixed, Dow and Nasdaq head for slightly lower opens
Here’s where markets were trading heading into the opening bell Monday morning:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +2.25 points (+0.05%) to 4,455.75
Dow futures (YM=F): -58 points (-0.17%) to 34,575.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): -1 point (-0.01%) to 14,412.50
Crude (CL=F): +$4.55 (+4.35%) to $109.25 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$2.80 (-0.15%) to $1,926.50 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +4.3 bps to yield 2.191%
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter
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