Futures fall as tech stocks lag ahead of Fed minutes

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell for the third straight session on Wednesday, led by losses in rate-sensitive technology stocks on fears that rising inflation could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to pare back its support soon.

FILE PHOTO: People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes touched a one-week high, driving down shares of Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc by about 1% premarket.

Tech and other growth stocks are sensitive to yields as their value rests heavily on earnings years into the future, which are discounted more deeply when expectations of interest rates hikes rise.

Investors will also focus on minutes from the Fed’s April policy meeting, where it stood pat on interest rates. The statement is due to be issued at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

“We will scan the minutes for more details on policymakers’ view, but bearing in mind that we got to hear from some of them after the more-than-expected surge in inflation last week, we will treat the minutes as outdated,” said Charalambos Pissouros,senior market analyst at JFD Group.

Strong inflation readings and signs of a worker shortage in recent weeks have fueled fears of inflation and roiled stock markets, despite reassurances from Fed officials that the rise in prices would be temporary.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell in a late session selloff on Tuesday as weak housing starts data overshadowed better-than-expected earnings from Walmart and Home Depot.

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U.S. home improvement chain Lowe’s Companies Inc reported a 25.9% jump in quarterly same-store but it lagged larger rival Home Depot’s growth, sending its shares down 2.4%.

Target Corp gained 2.1% after it beat estimates for quarterly same-store sales as a strong vaccination drive and stimulus checks encouraged shoppers to return to stores.

At 6:32 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 222 points, or 0.65%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 34.25 points, or 0.83%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 163.75 points, or 1.24%.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc rose 2.0% after reporting a quarterly profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates.

Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms dropped as the price of Bitcoin briefly fell below the $40,000 mark after China imposed fresh curbs on transactions involving digital coins.

Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global fell 3.7%, Bitcoin bank Silvergate Capital Corp shed 0.5% and miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings were down 6.7% and 6.9%, respectively.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Source: Reuters

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