Stock futures rise ahead of Powell’s testimony


U.S. equity futures rose on Wednesday ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony.

Futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.2%, while contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were relatively flat, suggesting that the two major indices could tremble at the opening bell. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% on Tuesday. Futures on the Nasdaq-100 rose 0.5% on Wednesday, signaling that tech stocks will outperform for a second day.

Shares have hit record highs on expectations of a strong economic rebound and an exceptional set of corporate results in the earnings season that has just started. However, some investors are wary of potential obstacles to the general market recovery to come.

One factor that makes fund managers cautious is uncertainty over how long the inflation surge will last, its fastest pace in 13 years, and the Fed’s reaction. Another is the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which prompted Australian authorities on Wednesday to extend the Sydney lockdown, while South Korea tightened restrictions.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if you took a step back,” said Daniel Morris, chief market strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

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