U.S. stock futures climb after three days of heavy selling

U.S. stock futures pointed higher Tuesday, moving upwards after three days of heavy selling on the eve of the key inflation report.

What’s happening
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    YM00,
    +0.82%
    rose 279 points, or 0.9% to 32440.

  • Futures on the S&P 500
    ES00,
    +1.02%
    gained 40.75 points, or 1%, to 4028.

  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100
    NQ00,
    +1.68%
    increased 189.25 points, or 1.6% to 12383.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-1.99%
fell 654 points, or 1.99%, to 32246, the S&P 500
SPX,
-3.20%
declined 132 points, or 3.2%, to 3991, and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-4.29%
dropped 521 points, or 4.29%, to 11623.

Over the last three days, the S&P 500 has dropped 7.2% — the biggest three-day decline since March 20, 2020, as the world was confronted with the coronavirus pandemic.

What’s driving markets

The early rise may give traders thought that a so-called “Turnaround Tuesday” may materialize. Data from Bank of America finds that the best returns for the S&P 500 this year have been on Mondays, though Tuesday’s cumulative loss of 1.2% is far narrower than the 10.6% drop on Thursday and the 7.9% decline on Thursday.

If anything, the corporate earnings news since Monday’s close has been negative, with steep earnings-related declines for companies including lending platform Upstart Holdings
UPST,
-8.06%,
online marketplace Groupon
GRPN,
-4.80%
and fuel-cell maker Plug Power
PLUG,
-14.32%.

The broader issue confronting the market is that the Federal Reserve will keep tightening until it sees signs that inflation is getting under control, and there’s no indication that’s anytime soon.

The one asset benefiting is the U.S. dollar
DXY,
+0.06%,
trading around two-decade highs, while gold
GC00,
+0.06%
is holding its own, and riskier assets including bitcoin
BTCUSD,
+3.24%
sell off.

“There is one potential catalyzer this week, that could eventually slow down the market selloff: U.S. inflation data due Wednesday. The consumer price index is expected to have eased to 8.1% in April from 8.5% printed a month earlier. A softer inflation is the only thing that could give hope to investors,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

President Joe Biden is due to give a speech at 11:30 a.m. Eastern outlining his administration’s attempts to bring down inflation.

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