Stock futures tick higher following third straight day of losses for the Dow: Live updates

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading on April 02, 2024 in New York City. 

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures inched higher Wednesday night after the Dow Jones Industrial Average registered its third straight losing session. 

Futures tied to the 30-stock Dow rose 59 points, or 0.15%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.24%, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.38%. 

During Wednesday’s main trading session, the Dow slipped 0.1% to post a three-day negative streak. Meanwhile the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite inched up just 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. 

Investors’ fears that the Federal Reserve may keep rates higher longer weighed on stocks. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that policymakers will need more proof that inflation is moving toward the central bank’s 2% guideline before rates can come down. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic also told CNBC that he thinks one cut might be in the cards.

As a result, Wall Street has adjusted its expectations for rate reductions. Fed funds futures trading data now suggests a 62.3% likelihood of a cut at the Federal Reserve’s June meeting, down from about 70% last week, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

In addition, companies added 184,000 workers in March, according to ADP. The result trounced Dow Jones’ estimate of 155,000 and spurred investors’ fears that rates may indeed stay higher longer. The 10-year Treasury note briefly topped 4.4% and touched a high for 2024.

“There’s a lot of short-term volatility and nervousness in the bond market,” said Larry Tentarelli, chief technical strategist for Blue Chip Daily Trend Report. “I don’t think that the Fed really has any reason to cut rates. The economy is so strong and we still have not beaten inflation yet.”

Meanwhile, he thinks the equity market is showing signs of a “bullish rotation,” or a diversification of growth beyond the megacap tech names that have powered the market rally since last fall. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see leadership move into other sectors besides tech. I think we’ll probably see a healthy rotation into some of the sectors that should benefit from stronger economic data,” said Tentarelli. “Some of the Magnificent Seven stocks maybe won’t outperform like they did last year.”

On the economic front, investors will be looking to initial jobless claims numbers for the week ending March 30. The U.S. trade deficit as of February will also be released Thursday morning. All eyes are on Friday for the release of March’s nonfarm payrolls.

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