U.S. stock futures are down ahead of comments from Fed chief Powell

U.S. stock index futures were muted and mixed Tuesday ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, speaking for the first time since a blowout January jobs report caused traders to shift their interest-rate forecasts closer to the one he’s championed.

What’s happening
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
lost 105 points, or 0.3%, to 33829.

S&P 500 futures
lowered 6 points, or 0.1%, to 4117.

Nasdaq 100 futures
gained 2 points, or 0.02%, to 12517.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 35 points, or 0.1%, to 33891, the S&P 500
declined 25 points, or 0.61%, to 4111, and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 120 points, or 1%, to 11887.

What’s driving markets

Powell will be interviewed by David Rubinstein, the co-chairman of private-equity giant The Carlyle Group, at 12:40 p.m. at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

“While he has remained tight-lipped at similar events in the past, Friday’s jobs release and the realignment of interest rate futures to anticipate a higher rate for longer could allow him to relish his victory,” said David Stritch, currency analyst at Caxton in London.

Last week, the U.S. Labor Department reported a 517,000 surge in nonfarm payrolls, as well as a drop in the unemployment rate to 3.4%. Interest-rate futures implied a terminal Fed rate of 5.157%, which according to Deutsche Bank was the first new high since early November.

On Monday Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told Bloomberg that the jobs report means interest rates may have to rise more than he’s previously forecast.

Besides the Powell speech on Tuesday, Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr is also scheduled to speak Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, U.S. data on international trade showed America’s trade deficit hit a record $948.1…


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