U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Thursday as easing government bond yields lifted high-valued growth stocks, while investors awaited business activity data and Federal Reserve Chair’s testimony to Congress.
Recession fears have gripped Wall Street on concerns that economic growth and corporate profits could come under pressure from rising interest rates, the Ukraine war and the prolonged supply chain problems.
The S&P 500 last week confirmed a bear market, clocking a more than 20% loss from its January closing peak as the Fed pushed ahead with its largest interest rate hike in nearly three decades. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has shed more than 31% from its November peak.
In the previous session, U.S. stock indexes ended with slim losses after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is not trying to engineer a recession but is fully committed to bringing prices under control even if doing so risks an economic downturn.
His second day of testimony before the House Financial Services Committee is at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT). Money markets are pricing in 75 basis point (bps) increase in rates next month, followed by a 50 basis point rise in September.
Weekly jobless claims report is due at 08:30 a.m. ET. The S&P Global’s Composite PMI survey for June will be published after the market opens. Similar surveys from earlier in the day showed manufacturing growth is slowing from Asia to Europe as surging inflation dents global economic outlook.
Meanwhile, the Fed is set to release the results of its 2022 stress test, which will assess how much capital banks would need to withstand a severe economic downturn. Shares of big banks slipped in premarket trading, with Wells Fargo down 0.2%.
At 06:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 141 points, or 0.46%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 27.25 points, or 0.72%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 125.5 points, or 1.09%.
Tesla Inc rose 2% and Nvidia Corp 1.5% to lead gains among the growth and technology companies as Treasury yields pulled back.
Occidental Petroleum Corp gained 3.3% after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought another 9.6 million shares of the oil company, boosting its stake to 16.3%.
Snowflake Inc climbed 5.1% after J.P. Morgan upgraded the cloud software company’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral”.