U.S. equity futures drifted after a report showed the biggest jump in U.S. retail sales since March. Meanwhile, traders awaited decision from the White House on who the next Federal Reserve head will be.
Contracts on the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq 100 wavered after the report showed resilient consumer demand and as traders assessed timing of interest-rate liftoff. Treasuries fluctuated between gains and losses.
Both current Chair Jerome Powell and Fed Governor Lael Brainard have been interviewed for the top job, and a decision is expected imminently, according to the Senate Banking Chairman. The news earlier this month that Brainard is in the running sent long bond yields tumbling on the assumption that she would be significantly more dovish.
Markets continue to evaluate how policy makers will react to inflation they’ve deemed transitory, with former Fed officials warning that a more aggressive approach is needed to curb accelerating price pressures.
In the premarket, Tesla Inc. shares fell after Elon Musk exercised options to sell more of his stock. Rivian Automotive Inc. added to recent gains, doubling the $78 it sold its shares at when it listed last week.
The yuan approached its strongest level since 2018 on hopes of easing tensions with the U.S. after the first face-to-face virtual summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. They spoke of the need for cooperation, with both sides aiming to stabilize U.S.-China ties but failing to deliver any big breakthroughs.
European gas prices surged as much as 12% on potential delays in starting up a controversial new pipeline from Russia. Hurdles o bring Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline online sent the region’s energy stocks up as much as 2.1%.
Gold pushed higher, while Bitcoin traded near $60,000 amid lingering concerns about China’s regulatory crackdown and tax-reporting requirements for digital currencies that are part of the new U.S. stimulus bill.
What to watch this week:
- Fed Presidents Thomas Barkin, Esther George, Raphael Bostic, Patrick Harker speak at various events. Tuesday
- Euro region CPI. Wednesday
- U.S. housing starts. Wednesday
- Conference Board U.S. leading index, initial jobless claims. Thursday
- Fed’s Richard Clarida and Mary Daly speak at Asia Economic Policy Conference. Friday
Some of the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed as of 8:44 a.m. New York time
- Futures on the Nasdaq 100 were little changed
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%
- The MSCI World index was little changed
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
- The euro was little changed at $1.1373
- The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.3456
- The Japanese yen fell 0.2% to 114.39 per dollar
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced one basis point to 1.63%
- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.23%
- Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.97%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6% to $81.37 a barrel
- Gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,872.30 an ounce