Updated at 8:01 am EST
U.S. equity futures moved higher Friday, potentially snapping a six-day losing streak for the Dow, as investors looked to an ease in market volatility amid stabilizing cryptocurrency prices and detailed comments on near-term rates hikes from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Speaking with the Marketplace public radio show, Powell essentially confirmed the case for 50 basis point rate hikes at the next two policy meetings in June and July ““if the economy performs about as expected” and reiterated his view that a 75 basis point hike isn’t being ‘actively considered”.
“But I would just say, we have a series of expectations about the economy,” Powell said. “If things come in better than we expect, then we’re prepared to do less. If they come in worse than when we expect, then we’re prepared to do more.”
Bets on a bigger move, given the surprising strength of underlying inflation found in core consumer prices last month, remained elevated, with the CME Group’s FedWatch tool pegging the chances at around 12.8% for June and 12% for July.
Still, the broader assurance on the Fed’s rate path looks to have at least neutralized one of the market’s major concerns this week, while the other — the ongoing upheaval in crypto prices — has also calmed, with bitcoin climbing 6.9% in overnight trading to move past the $30,000 mark.
Evidence of a modestly firmer ‘risk on’ sentiment was seen in a pullback for the U.S. dollar, which traded at 104.70 against a basket of its global peers but remains on pace for its longest stretch of weekly gains in four years and still trades near to the highest levels in two decades.
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Benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields were holding at 2.895% amid one of the strongest weekly rallies in years, with data from Bank of America’s ‘Flow Show’ report showing weekly inflows of $11.5 billion, the most since March of 2020.
The CBOE’s benchmark volatility gauge, the VIX, was also in retreat, falling 5.77% in early-hours trading to 30.68 points.
On Wall Street, futures contacts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicating a 350 point opening bell gain while those linked the S&P 500, which is down 17.5% for the year, are priced for a 60 point move to the downside Futures linked to the Nasdaq are looking at a 255 point jump.
Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report shares were easily the most active in pre-market trading, plunging more than 15% after Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report CEO Elon Musk said his $44 billion ‘take private’ deal for the social media group is “temporarily on hold”.
Musk made the declaration through his verified Twitter account early on Friday in response to a Reuters story from May 2. The story, based on a Twitter 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, stated that Twitter had 229 million users who viewed consistent ads, adding that fewer than 5% of its so-called ‘monetizable daily active users’ were false or spam accounts.
Samuel Bankman-Fried made his investment public late Thursday in an SEC filing, but noted he wasn’t planning to build a controlling stake in the beaten-down trading platform. Robinhood, via its verified Twitter account, said Bankman-Fried’s move was “an attractive investment.”
General Electric (GE) – Get General Electric Company Report shares moved 0.5% higher as investors reacted to comments from CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe that suggested the industrial group would see a broad improvement in cash flow over the second half of the year.
Dybeck Happe told the Goldman Sachs Industrials & Materials Conference that, while “nothing is certain in an environment where so much is changing day to day” she was confident that the group would see “a path to significant growth in the second half.”