At 10:07 GMT, the blue chip Dow Jones Futures are trading 34378.00, up 41.00 or +0.12%. The benchmark S&P 500 Index is at 4383.75, up 11.75 or +0.27% and the tech-weighted Nasdaq Futures are trading 14935.00, up 72.25 or +0.49%.
However, reflecting on the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have seen declines of 2.7% and 3.5%, marking their most pronounced weekly downturn since March. This turbulence is also seen in the bond market, with the 10-year Treasury yield jumping 15 basis points to a striking 4.498%, its peak since 2007, and the 2-year rate soaring to a 2006-high of 5.2%.
Economic Indicators and Policy Decisions
Amidst this, the latest weekly jobless claims dropped unexpectedly to 201,000, leading some traders to anticipate further rate hikes to temper the economic heat. The Federal Reserve, in its recent policy meeting, held rates steady but foresaw an additional rate hike this year, emphasizing a reduced likelihood of rate cuts in the following year. Chairman Jerome Powell vocalized ongoing concerns regarding inflation, stating that despite signs of inflationary pressure abating, there’s more work ahead.
Concerns Over Government Shutdown
Adding to the market jitters, a potential U.S. government shutdown is on the horizon. After House Republican leaders adjourned the chamber, worries grew over the possible failure to pass a crucial government funding bill. A shutdown carries implications beyond just operational disruptions. It might dent GDP figures for Q4 and further confound the Fed’s decisions, as it would limit access to vital economic data.
Japan’s Economy and Investor Sentiment
On the international front, the Bank of Japan remains steady with its benchmark lending rate, maintaining it at -0.1%. Despite this stability, Japan’s private sector growth slowed, and its inflation rate persisted above the central bank’s target for 17 consecutive months. Meanwhile, the latest survey from the American Association of Individual Investors reveals a decline in bullish sentiment regarding the stock outlook for the upcoming six months, sliding to a four-month low.
Short-Term Forecast: Bearish Outlook
Given the Federal Reserve’s stance, potential government shutdown, and dwindling investor optimism, the short-term outlook leans bearish. With multiple pressures converging, markets might see further downward movement as the month progresses, particularly given the historical volatility associated with this period.