Futures point lower
U.S. stocks look set to open slightly lower today after the Federal Reserve failed to match market forecasts of more rate cuts this year. On Wednesday, Fed officials trimmed borrowing rates by a quarter-percentage point for the second time this year to a target range of 1.75% to 2%.
However, the central bank did not commit to lowering the rates further in 2019. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled less certainty about the rate direction, saying the bank is “not on a pre-set course” and is “going to be making decisions meeting by meeting.”
Policymakers cited rising economic activity and a strong labour market in its accompanying statement. At around 5:30 a.m. ET Thursday, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 54.5 points, or about 0.2% to 27,088.5.
Futures on the broader S&P 500 dropped 5.62 points, or around 0.19% to 7,894.25, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 23.75 points, or roughly 0.3% to 7,894.25.
Oil jumps as Iran’s foreign minister warns of an “all-out war” with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia
Oil prices turned higher early Thursday after Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif told CNN that a U.S. and Saudi strike on his country would lead to an “all-out war.”
The minister also dismissed the possibility of holding talks with the U.S. government, until the Trump administration lifts all economic sanctions imposed on Iran.
At 5:30 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up $.51, or around 0.88%, at $58.55 per barrel. International Brent crude oil futures were at $64.42 per barrel, up $0.82, or about 1.29%.
Jobless claims, and more
The U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release data on initial jobless claims for the latest week at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Also worth watching today is the existing home sales report for August, which will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. Another focus for investors will be the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index at 8:30 a.m. ET.