PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ), S&P Dep Receipts (SPY) – US futures mixed but suggest optimism for tech stocks: Key events to watch today

Trading in major U.S. index futures pointed to a lackluster start for Wall Street on Wednesday, but tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures posted strong gains.

On Tuesday, major US averages teased optimism, only to disappoint. After a firmer start, the major indices squandered the advantage and fell sharply in the first hour of trading, consolidating around those lower levels for the rest of the session. Markets were reacting to data showing a slower pace of house price increases and improving consumer confidence.

“The Goldilocks scenario that has buoyed markets for so long, particularly after Jerome Powell’s comments in Jackson Hole, now makes positive economic data virtually toxic,” said LPL Financial’s chief global strategist, Quincy Crosby, in a note.

All major S&P sectors closed in the red, with energy stocks pacing the declines, reflecting a 5.5% plunge in WTI crude oil prices. Industrials, materials, real estate and utilities stocks also came under significant selling pressure.

With the third consecutive session of losses, the major averages are back to their lowest level in about five weeks.

Performance of US indices on Tuesday
Index Performance (+/-) Assess
Nasdaq Compound -1.12% 11,883.14
S&P 500 Index -1.10% 3,986.16
Dow Industrials -0.96% 31,790.87

Here is an overview of index futures trading:

Performance of US futures on Wednesday during the pre-market session
Index Performance (+/-)
Nasdaq 100 Futures Contracts +0.91%
S&P 500 Futures Contracts -0.07%
Dow Futures Contracts -0.31%
R2K Futures -0.12%

See also: S&P 500 Bracing for more pain in September? This is what history tells us

On the economic front, ADP’s private payroll report for August is due at 8:15 a.m. ET. In July, private payrolls increased by 128,000. Although private payroll figures from the ADP survey and the Labor Department’s non-farm payroll survey are not always in Wednesday’s data could be seen as an indicative trend for the NFP numbers.

Given the recent slump in crude oil prices, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly crude oil inventory report, due at 10:30 a.m. ET, could cause a stir in the energy market.

Two speeches from the Fed are also in the spotlight. Chairman of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Loretta Mester is due to speak at 8 a.m. ET and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Raphael Bostic would talk about fintech after the market closes.

The results of a regional survey of the Chicago-area manufacturing sector are scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Among the notable revenue forecast for the day are those from SaaS companies Nutanix, Inc. NTNX, Okta, Inc. OKTA and MongoDB, Inc. MDBcybersecurity provider Sentinel One, Inc. S and retailer Five Below, Inc. FIVE.

Asian markets closed mostly lower, taking inspiration from Wall Street’s negative advance overnight. China led the declines in the region, stung by data showing a continued contraction in factory activity, while Hong Kong finished nearly flat with a slight upward bias. The South Korean, Taiwanese and Indonesian markets posted modest gains.

European stocks ignored a slightly positive start and fell. At the start of the session, the main averages were firmly in the red.

Crude oil futures are down sharply for a second straight day and were last seen around 3% lower.

In pre-market exchanges on Wednesday, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust TO SPY rose 0.2% to $399 and the Invesco QQQ TrustQQQ rose 0.66% to $303.02, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

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