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Futures Pointing To Continued Weakness On Wall Street

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March 05 2024 9:03AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Tuesday, with stocks likely to see further downside following the modest pullback seen on Monday.

Traders may continue to cash in on recent strength in the markets, which lifted the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record closing highs last Friday.

Uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates may also weigh on the markets ahead of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell

Powell is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

The Fed chief is likely to reiterate recent comments stressing the central bank needs greater confidence inflation is slowing before cutting interest rates.

The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for March 19-20, with the Fed widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged.

After a weak start and a long spell in negative territory, U.S. stocks briefly managed to turn positive in the final hour of trading on Monday but failed to find support and ended marginally lower.

The mood was cautious throughout the day’s session due to a lack of major U.S. economic data. Traders largely stayed on the sidelines ahead of a several key events this week.

The major averages all ended in negative territory. The Dow ended down 97.55 points or 0.3 percent at 38,989.83. The S&P 500 settled with a loss of 6.13 points or 0.1 percent at 5,130.95, while the Nasdaq ended lower by 67.43 points or 0.4 percent at 16,207.51.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) dropped more than 7 percent. Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), Target (NYSE:TGT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) lost 2 to 4 percent.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Ford Motor (NYSE:F), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) posted strong gains.

Later in the week, the Labor Department’s monthly employment report is due to be released on Friday. The report is expected to show employment jumped by 200,000 jobs in February after surging by 353,000 jobs in January.