U.S. stocks are seen opening sharply lower Monday, extending recent losses as investors fret about the Federal Reserve possibly starting to wind down its pandemic-era bond-buying program this week.
At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 545 points, or 1.6%, S&P 500 Futures traded 60 points, or 1.3%, lower, while Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 155 points, or 1%.
The main indices all closed lower on Friday, with the broad-based S&P 500 dropping 0.9%, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 0.5% and the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite down 0.9%. All three averages are lower for the month, having notched there straight weeks of losses.
The highlight of the week is the two-day Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting, ending on Wednesday, where policy makers are expected to start laying the groundwork for paring back stimulus.
“The FOMC could decide to communicate that a 3 month moving average at acceptable levels in the monthly NFP [nonfarm payrolls] report would trigger a tapering implementation in November or December,” said analysts at Nordea, in a note.
Also weighing on sentiment were the fear of contagion from the crisis at heavily-indebted property developer China Evergrande Group (HK:3333), slumping commodity prices, and uncertainty over the outlook for President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda as well as fears the U.S. government will run out of money as early as October without action on the debt ceiling.
In corporate news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be in the spotlight after National Transportation Safety Board chief Jennifer Homendy noted that the electric car maker needed to address safety deficiencies in its full self-driving technology.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) will also be in focus after dominating at this year’s Emmy Awards, while the likes of FedEx (NYSE:FDX), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) all due to report earnings this week.
Crude prices fell, weighed by the general risk averse sentiment, a steady return of U.S. production after two hurricanes, and a higher dollar making commodities priced in the currency more expensive.
The country’s oil and gas rig count rose by nine to 512 last week, according to Baker Hughes on Friday, its highest since April 2020 and double the level from this time last year.
Additionally, only 23% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude output remained offline as of Friday, an improvement from the 28% seen on Thursday, more than two weeks after Hurricane Ida hit.
By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2.1% lower at $70.30 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.7% to $74.04.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,757.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1711.