Futures tracking Wall Street’s main stock indexes fell on Friday as U.S. Treasury yields hovered near multi-year highs following hawkish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Speaking at the Economic Club of New York on Thursday, Powell said the U.S. economy’s strength and continued tight labor markets could require tougher borrowing conditions to control inflation.
“Anyone expecting to hear Fed chairman Jay Powell adopt a less hawkish tone given the recent rise in yields was in for a disappointment,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Fed Bank of Dallas President Lorie Logan, who is a voting member of this year’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), said on Thursday that recent data and higher bond market borrowing costs gave the central bank space to deliberate on its next monetary policy move.
BofA Global Research said it now expects the U.S. central bank to deliver a 25-basis-point rate hike in December instead of November.
Comments from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will also be on investor radar during the day as Fed officials will be entering a media blackout starting Saturday ahead of their meeting on Nov 1.
The 10-year Treasury yield , which briefly crossed 5% on Thursday for the first time since July 2007, were last at 4.9392%.
Traders see a near 99% chance the Fed will keep benchmark rates unchanged in its November meet, while their bets for a pause in December stood at 77%, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool.
All three major U.S. stock indexes, which ended nearly 1% lower on Thursday on course to log weekly declines.
On the earning’s front, American Express (AXP.N) rose 1.5% in premarket trading after the credit-card giant beat third quarter profit estimates.
Investors also kept tabs on the conflict in the Middle East as Israel levelled a northern Gaza district on Friday after giving families a half-hour warning to escape, signaling it could mount a ground invasion of Gaza soon.
At 7:03 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 78 points, or 0.23%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 13 points, or 0.3%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 61 points, or 0.41%.