Stocks – U.S. Futures Fall as Government Shutdown Starts to Weigh


Stocks - U.S. Futures Fall as Government Shutdown Starts to Weigh – U.S. futures fell after rallying for four days as the government shutdown pressed on with no end in sight and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was slated to speak later in the day.

The S&P 500 futures fell 13 points or 0.56% as of 6:40 AM ET (11:40 GMT) while Dow futures lost 106 points, or 0.44%. Meanwhile tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures decreased 41 points, or 0.63%.

The government shutdown reached its 20th day with no relief on the horizon. President Donald Trump cut short a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, calling the meeting “a total waste of time” as Pelosi stood firm in opposition to Trump’s demand to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Investors will be listening for great clarity on monetary policy when Powell speaks at 12:45 PM ET (17:45 GMT), especially after the Fed December meeting minutes showed that many policymakers are in favor of pausing rate hikes.

Vice Chair Richard Clarida is also expected to speak on Thursday.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) jumped 3.5% in premarket trading, after the company reported it was updating its feed with speech bubbles, indentions and different color, while Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) rose 1.9%.

Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell 1% after news that it is planning to stop selling its lowest-priced versions of its Model S and X vehicles. Semiconductor company Micron (NASDAQ:MU) decreased 0.6%, while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) dipped 0.6% and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was down 1%.

In economic news, weekly jobless claims numbers are expected at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT).

Other data such as new home sales, construction spending and wholesale inventories will be postponed due to the partial shutdown.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.20% to $1,294.55 a troy ounce, while crude oil fell 0.7% to $52.00 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched up 0.10% to 94.88.

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