Dow futures fall 250 points as blue-chip average heads for worst week since January

Dow futures fall 250 points as blue-chip average heads for worst week since January

U.S. stock futures fell on Friday as the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are on pace to post a losing week after the Federal Reserve’s latest policy update.

Futures for the Dow lost 220 points. S&P 500 futures were lower by 0.5% and Nasdaq-100 futures dipped 0.3%

The blue-chip Dow has lost 1.9% week to date, on pace for its worst week since January. The S&P 500 has fallen 0.6%. But the Nasdaq has gained 0.65% on the week.

The decline in stocks came amid a drastic flattening of the so-called Treasury yield curve where the yields of shorter-duration Treasurys, like the 2-year note, rose, while longer duration yields, such as the benchmark 10-year fell. The retreat in long-dated bonds reflects less optimism toward the economic growth, while the jump in short-end yields shows the expectations of the Fed raising rates.

Most commodities prices rebounded a bit on Friday following sharp declines this week as China attempts to cool rising prices and the U.S. dollar strengthens. Futures prices for copper, gold, and platinum rebounded Friday, but were still down big for the week.

The Friday bounce in prices helped push some materials stocks higher in early trading. Newmont gained nearly 2% in premarket trading.

Chip stocks, which have had a good week, looked set to continue their run on Friday with shares of Nvidia higher by about 1% in premarket trading.

Adobe shares gained about 3% in premarket trading after earnings and revenue topped estimates.

The highly anticipated decision from the Fed Wednesday caused a sell-off in equities that carried through to a second day. The central bank announced it’s keeping interest rates unchanged, raised its 2021 inflation expectation to 3.4% and moved planned interest rate hikes forward.

“Investors may be interpreting the Fed’s hawkish tilt Wednesday as a sign that an extended US post-pandemic economic expansion may be a bit harder to achieve in a potentially emerging environment of less accommodative monetary policy,” said Goldman Sachs’ Chris Hussey in a note.

Friday also coincides with the quarterly “quadruple witching” where options and futures on indexes and equities expire. Many expect trading to be more volatile in light of this event.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, totaling 412,000, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week and higher than the 360,000 estimate.

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