Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures show Wall Street holding recent gains

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Stock Market

U.S. stock futures nudged higher Thursday, extending recent gains.How are stock-index futures trading
S&P 500 futures
rose 5 points, or 0.1%, to 4163

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
added 21 points, or 0.1%, to 34195

Nasdaq 100 futures
climbed 24 points, or 0.2%, to 12754

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 39 points, or 0.11%, to 34128, the S&P 500
increased 11 points, or 0.28%, to 4148, and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 110 points, or 0.92%, to 12071.

What’s driving markets Equity benchmarks continue to trundle higher, befuddling those observers accustomed to equating higher bond yields — which reflect concerns about more Federal Reserve rate hikes — with softer stocks. In recent sessions traders have absorbed data showing U.S. inflation being stubbornly sticky and strong retail sales. These follow a surprisingly strong jobs report at the start of the month. Consequently, benchmark U.S. Treasury yields
are near their highest for 2023, yet the S&P 500 sits just shy of its best level since August, having bounced 8% for the year to date. “Are rising rates and yields a sign of normality or looming trouble again? Is U.S. inflation hitting a glitch in its disinflationary journey? Is a soft, hard or no landing more likely now after what we’ve seen so far this year?” asked Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank. Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, expressed similar exasperation: “{T]his is a market that constantly asks different questions at different prices and on different days, and of course, there is no shortage of different answers.” An indication of just how relaxed investors have become about the current market scenario can be seen in the level of the CBOE Vix index
A measure of expected S&P 500 volatility, the Vix, which tends to jump when traders get anxious, is hovering near 18, below its long run average of 20.

Part of the reason for the declining Vix is that the S&P 500 has been meandering in a relatively tight range for the last 10 sessions, noted Mark Newton, head of technical …

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