Futures rise as chip stocks bounce back after sell-off

By Thomson Reuters Apr 18, 2024 | 5:01 AM

(Reuters) – Futures for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained on Thursday as some chip stocks recouped losses after a sell-off, while investors awaited Federal Reserve policymakers’ stance on interest-rate cuts in the face of resilient economic data.

Chipmakers such as Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia and Applied Materials gained between 0.3% and 0.7% in premarket trading.

Micron Technology advanced 1.7% after a report that the memory-chip maker is set to get more than $6 billion in grants from the U.S. Commerce Department to help pay for domestic chip factory projects.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which dropped over 3% on Wednesday, was down nearly 13% from the record high levels seen last month.

Also easing some pressure off equities, Treasury yields fell slightly from the elevated levels seen earlier in the week, with the yield on the 10-year note last at 4.5772%.

All three major indexes closed lower in the last session, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq logging their fourth straight day of losses as investors remained jittery about the Fed’s interest-rate outlook.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said she expects price pressures to ease further this year, allowing the central bank to reduce borrowing costs, but only when it is “pretty confident” about inflation heading sustainably to its 2% goal.

Fed Governor Michelle Bowman, on the other hand, said progress on lowering U.S. inflation may have stalled. He said it remained an open question whether interest rates were high enough to ensure a return to the 2% inflation target.

Investors will look for remarks from New York Fed President John Williams and his Atlanta counterpart Raphael Bostic later in the day.

Money market participants see an over-46% chance of the Fed kicking off its easing cycle in July, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

At 5:29 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.07%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26.5 points, or 0.15%.

With the first-quarter reporting season hitting its stride, investors will watch for earnings from lenders KeyCorp, Comerica and homebuilder D.R. Horton before the opening bell.

Weekly jobless claims and March existing home sales data due later in the day will also be on the radar in an otherwise light data calendar.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)