US Stocks Could Remain Jittery Thursday Over Fed Rate Hike As S&P 500, Nasdaq Futures See Volatility — McDonald's In Focus

Zinger Key Points
  • U.S. stocks fell further on Wednesday following the Fed decision and futures are struggling for direction on Thursday.
  • Economy continues to be a dark horse, restraining stocks from staging a sustainable recovery.

The major U.S. index futures are flatlining, as traders are digesting the implication of the Fed's policy statement and a couple of interest rate decisions from Japan and the United Kingdom.

Fed’s decision to raise interest rates by an aggressive 75 basis points accompanied by a signal that more such rate hikes could be in the pipeline set in motion a steep sell-off in markets on Wednesday.

The three major averages ended with losses of over 1.7% or more, sinking further to their lowest level in about two months.

All S&P sectors ended lower for the session, with the sell-off more acute in interest-rate sensitive financial material, consumer discretionary and technology spaces.

U.S. Indices' Performance On Wednesday
Index Performance (+/-)   Value
Nasdaq Composite -1.79%   11,220.19
S&P 500 Index -1.71%   3,789.93
Dow Industrials -1.70%   30,183.78

Here’s a peek into index futures trading:

U.S. Futures' Performance On Thursday During Premarket Session
Index Performance (+/-)  
Nasdaq 100 Futures -0.03%  
S&P 500 Futures +0.06%  
Dow Futures +0.15%  
R2K Futures +0.03%  

In premarket trading on Thursday, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was gaining 0.25% to $378.3, and Invesco QQQ TrustQQQ was moving up 0.13% to $283.94, according to Benzinga Pro data.

On the economic front, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its jobless claims report for the week ended Sept. 17 at 8:30 a.m. EDT. In the week ended Sept. 10, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits slid for a fourth straight month, coming in at 213,000. Economists expect a slight uptick from the Sept. 10 number.

The Conference Board is set to release its leading indicators for August at 10 a.m. EDT. The index is expected to remain unchanged, an improvement from a 0.40% decline in July.

The Kansas Federal Reserve will release its September manufacturing index for the region at 11 a.m. EDT. In August, the index came in at three.

See also: Cathie Wood Finds This 'Most Disappointing' About Fed's Move — Sounds Alarm Again On This Overlooked Factor

Stock In Focus

  • Shares of Massachusetts-based Spero Therapeutics, Inc. SPRO have taken off after it announced an out-licensing deal with GlaxoSmithKline Plc GSK.
  • McDonald’s Corporation MCD could be in the spotlight after a New York Post report said the fast food chain is facing a $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit.
  • Accenture plc ACN and Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI are among the companies reporting earnings on Thursday.

Commodities, Global Markets

Crude oil futures are moderately higher after two straight sessions of steep losses.

Most Asian markets retreated on Thursday, led by Hong Kong and Australia. Singaporean and Indonesian stocks, however, bucked the downtrend. The New Zealand stock market was closed for a public holiday.

The Bank of Japan on Thursday opted to maintain its ultra-low policy rate unchanged at a negative 0.1%. The central bank stepped in later in the day to prop up the yen, which tumbled against the dollar to its lowest level in 24 years. Reuters reported that the Japanese government intervened in the forex market to buy yen for the first time since 1998.

European stocks are also trading notably lower in late morning trading as traders digest the Bank of England's decision to raise the key rate by an expected 50 basis points.

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