Wall Street Looks Headed For Weak Start

Sharply lower futures point to a weak start for U.S. stocks on Wednesday. The focus will be on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Senate about the state of the economy this morning.

The Dow futures are down 1.02 percent, while the S&P futures and the Nasdaq futures are lower by 1.17 percent and 1.33 percent, respectively.

Powell’s testimony will provide clues about the central bank’s future monetary policy stance. The Fed raised interest rates by 75 basis points last week.

Investors are also likely closely follow the developments with regard to President Joe Biden’s take on the federal tax on gasoline. According to reports, Biden might temporarily suspend the 18.4-cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline.

The major averages all ended sharply higher on Tuesday as stocks moved up on bargain hunting. The Dow jumped 641.47 points or 2.2 percent to 30,530.25, the Nasdaq surged 270.95 points or 2.5 percent to 11,069.30 and the S&P 500 spiked 89.95 points or 2.5 percent to 3,764.79.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Wednesday despite a jump in U.S. equities overnight. Inflation and interest-rate concerns took center stage ahead of congressional testimony by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Investors looked for further clues about whether there would be another 75-basis-point (bps) rate hike at the Fed’s next meeting in July.

European stocks down firmly in negative territory amid rising worries about inflation and interest rate hikes.

In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are down $4.80 or 4.4 percent at $104.72 a barrel. Gold futures are gaining $3.40 or 0.18 percent at $1,842.20 an ounce.

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