May 27, 2022

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Dow futures slump over 500 points, signaling rough start to week for equities

After a volatile week, Wall Street is bracing for more losses as U.S. stock-index futures fell sharply on Monday.

What’s happening
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    fell 376 points, or 1.2% to 32433.

  • Futures on the S&P 500
    dropped 56.75 points, or 1.4%, to 4063.

  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100
    decreased 204 points, or 1.6% to 12492.

On Friday, the Dow
 fell 98.60 points, or 0.3%, to close at 32,899.37, while the S&P 500
 dropped 23.53 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 4,123.34, and the Nasdaq Composite
 shed 173.03 points, or 1.4%, to end at 12,144.66.

For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 each slipped 0.2% while the technology-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.5%. Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell for a fifth straight week, while the Dow dropped for a sixth consecutive week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Cryptocurrencies fell over the weekend as well, with bitcoin
dropping below the $35,000 level, down nearly half from its record high set in November.

What’s driving markets

Stocks slumped to end the week after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank was not considering a 75-basis-point rate hike, leading some to question whether the Fed is doing enough to control inflation. The Dow tumbled more than 1,000 points Thursday, marking its worst day in five years, a day after jumping 900 points for its best day since 2020.

Read: Will Fed go too far? Dow’s violent swings put investors on lookout for recession signals

“Circumstances have locked the Federal Reserve and the U.S. inflation in a race to see who can be the most hawkish, but the Fed always seems to be in catch-up mode,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management said in a note Sunday night. “Questioning the ability of central banks to lean against inflation effectively remains a significant source of angst as investors weigh greater near-term policy certainty versus medium-term inflation uncertainty. The longer this goes on, it will drive even higher investor anxiety levels and pressure stocks lower.”

The release of the jobs report did little to move the dial ahead of Wednesday’s release of the consumer price index.

“Overall, the release of the U.S. employment report for April failed to excite traders as despite the nonfarm payrolls figure remaining relatively at the same levels as in March and not dropping as the market expected, the unemployment rate failed to tick down and remained unchanged,” said Peter Iosif, senior research analyst at Noteris.