U.S futures start month slightly lower after major indexes saw gains in May
31 May 2021
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Stock futures are slightly lower in overnight trading after major indexes saw gains in May.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48 points, or 0.14%. S&P 500 futures ticked 0.15% lower and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.08%.
The moves in overnight trading come after the blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 gained 1.93% and 0.55% in May, respectively, to mark their fourth consecutive positive month. The S&P 500 closed Friday just 0.8% off its record high.
The small cap Russell 2000 rose 0.11% in May to post its eighth positive month in a row — its longest monthly win streak since 1995.
The Nasdaq gained 2.06% last week to post its best weekly performance since April. However, the tech-heavy composite lost 1.53% in May, breaking a 6-month win streak.
A key inflation gauge — the core personal consumption expenditures index — rose 3.1% in April from a year earlier, faster than the forecasted 2.9% increase. Despite the hotter-than-expected inflation data, treasury yields fell on Friday.
“Overall, given the market’s reaction to [Friday]’s PCE release, investor concerns about inflation may have been exaggerated — or perhaps already priced in,” Chris Hussey, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, said in a note.
“Consensus may be building that the inflation we are seeing today is ‘good’ inflation — the kind of rise in prices that accompanies accelerating growth, not a monetary policy mistake,” Hussey said.
Investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve’s meeting scheduled for June 15-16. Key for the markets is whether the Fed begins to believe that inflation is higher than it expected or that the economy is strengthening enough to progress without so much monetary support.
May’s employment report, set to be released on Friday, will provide a key reading of the economy. According to Dow Jones, economists expect to see about 674,000 jobs created in May, after the much fewer-than-expected 266,000 jobs added in April.
— CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed reporting.