US stock futures struggled for traction on Thursday as oil prices renewed an upward march, following the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike since 2018 and promises to follow.
Fears of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine were at the center of attention after Russian forces were accused of destroying a theater that housed hundreds of people in Mariupol.
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S&P 500 futures ES00,
fell 0.1% to 4,343
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ES00,
it fell 22 points to 33,929
Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00,
fell 0.2% to 13,913
In addition to a surge from the previous session, the action on Wednesday saw industrialists Dow DJIA,
close to 518.17 points, or 1.6%, at 34,063, the S&P 500 SPX,
gains 2.2% to 4,357.86 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP,
rises 3.8% to 13,436.55, the best one-day percentage increase since November 4, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
What drives the markets?
Shares rose Wednesday after the Federal Reserve posted an expected quarter percentage point interest rate hike and charted a path for many more hikes to come this year. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also said the US economy is strong enough to cope with rising oil prices, but vowed not to let inflation take root in the economy.
But oil prices rose again on Thursday after three days of losses that helped support equity markets. CL00 West Texas Intermediate Crude,
rose 3.3% to $ 98.27 per barrel and the global benchmark Brent BRN00,
was up 3.8% to $ 101.85 a barrel.
Treasury Yield TMUBMUSD10Y,
they were also in decline.
And while hopes for war negotiations in Ukraine helped drive recent stock gains, investors received news on Thursday of a Russian bombing of a drama theater in Mariupol that had been used as a shelter.
Congressional leaders are preparing a series of economic sanctions that would deprive Russia and its ally Belarus of permanent normalized trade status and could even target China, given US warnings against that country of supporting Moscow.
This follows on from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s passionate call for the United States to “do more” in Congress on Wednesday. President Joe Biden announced $ 1 billion in aid and weapons and labeled President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”, while the Russian leader promised to cleanse the country of “traitors” in solidarity with the West.
Shares had already risen Wednesday after the Chinese government said it would support the stock market and the economy. The Bank of England, meanwhile, is also expected to raise interest rates when it meets on Thursday.
On the economic calendar, jobless claims, building permits and housing commissions are expected for February, along with the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for March and, thereafter, February industrial production.