S&P 500 Futures Take a Hit from Bond Yield Surge and Global Tensions

U.S. stock index futures indicated a challenging day for Wall Street on Friday. Investors are grappling with rising bond yields and ongoing geopolitical tensions. Furthermore, they are digesting remarks made by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday.

Here’s what’s happening:

  • S&P 500 index futures (ES00, -0.46%) decreased by 10.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,293.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM00, -0.36%) fell by 67 points, or 0.2%, to 33,481.
  • Nasdaq-100 futures (NQ00, -0.50%) dropped 45 points, or 0.3%, to 14,846.

On Thursday, the major stock indices performed as follows:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished 250.91 points, or 0.7% lower, at 33,414.17.
  • The S&P 500 (SPX) declined by 36.60 points, or 0.8%, to close at 4,278.
  • The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) lost 128.12 points, or 1%, ending at 13,186.17.

Key market drivers:

The major stock indices are on track for weekly losses due to the 10-year Treasury yield nearing the 5% mark on Thursday. The 10-year Treasury yield (BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) was down 4 basis points at 4.944% on Friday, but it has surged by 31 basis points throughout the week, starting from 4.616% on Monday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, speaking in New York on Thursday, provided a cautious economic outlook but didn’t rule out the possibility of further interest rate hikes. He also mentioned that higher Treasury yields could assist the Fed in combating inflation by tightening financial conditions.

The recent surge in bond yields might be attributed to robust retail sales data, following strong nonfarm payroll data and higher-than-expected inflation figures earlier in the month. These factors have fueled expectations of a more hawkish stance from the Fed.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is the last scheduled speaker before the blackout period leading up to the November 1 rate decision.

In terms of corporate earnings, American Express (AXP, -1.26%) is set to report ahead of the market open. Next week, major tech companies like Alphabet (GOOGL, -0.15%), Microsoft (MSFT, +0.37%), and Amazon.com (AMZN, +0.21%) will release their earnings.

Geopolitical tensions stemming from the conflict between Israel and Hamas have also had an impact on investor sentiment. Oil prices rose again on Friday, with concerns about a potential ground invasion by the Israeli military. This situation has led to heavy strikes in Gaza and evacuations in affected areas.

Commodity prices are also in focus, with West Texas Intermediate crude (CL.1, 0.95%) rising 1% to $89.39 a barrel, and gold (GC00, 0.28%) climbing $12.80 to $1,993.30 an ounce.

Companies in the spotlight:

  • Regions Financial Corp. (RF) saw its stock drop 5.5% in premarket trading after the bank’s third-quarter profit and revenue missed expectations, partly due to increased total loans but decreased deposits and economic uncertainty in the regional banking industry.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) fell by 4% after its fiscal forecast fell short of analysts’ expectations.
  • American Express Co. remained stable after surpassing profit expectations for its third quarter while reporting healthy spending and strong credit metrics.

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