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US stock futures flat as tech rally cools, Fed meeting looms

April 30, 2024 5:19 AM

Investing.com-- U.S. stock index futures moved little in evening deals on Monday as a rally in the technology sector appeared to be running out of steam amid dwindling hopes for interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.


Focus was now on a Fed meeting later in the week for more cues on policy, after a series of hot inflation readings saw traders price out most expectations for any near-term rate cuts.


While Wall Street indexes marked some gains in the past three sessions, they were still set to clock losses for April.


S&P 500 Futures steadied at 5,144.50 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures were flat at $17,908.50 points by 19:09 ET (23:09 GMT). Dow Jones Futures fell slightly to 38,543.00 points.


Rate cut hopes dwindle as Fed meeting approaches


Wall Street is expected to turn rangebound in the coming sessions ahead of a Fed meeting this week, where the central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady.


But Fed Chair Jerome Powell is likely to offer hawkish signals on the path of interest rates, especially after a series of hotter-than-expected inflation readings.


Markets were seen largely pricing out most expectations of immediate rate cuts, with only a slim majority of traders expecting a cut in September or after, the CME Fedwatch tool showed.


Higher for longer rates bode poorly for stock markets, given that they limit speculation by putting a cap on liquidity.


Wall St heads for April losses


The S&P 500 rose 0.3% on Monday to finish at 5,116.17 points, while the NASDAQ Composite rose 0.4% to 15,983.08 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 38,386.09 points.


Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) was among the biggest boosts to the S&P and Nasdaq, surging 15% after the electric car maker made progress in rolling out its full self-driving software in major market China.


While positive earnings and regulatory developments in the tech sector had helped spark some recent gains in Wall Street indexes, they were still set to lose between 2.4% and 3.6% in April.


Wall Street was hit with some profit-taking after a strong run-up through the first quarter, especially as traders priced out expectations for early rate cuts this year.


Performance for the next month is now expected to be dictated by the first-quarter earnings season and more cues on interest rates.


Amazon, Coca-Cola earnings on tap


The first-quarter earnings season is set to continue on Tuesday with a string of key consumer earnings on tap.


Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), and Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ: MDLZ) are set to report earnings, as are Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD).


Earnings from 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) and PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) are also due later on Tuesday.

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