Stock futures slightly higher as Wall Street digests Powell’s speech

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Wall Street

Stocks set to extend rally

U.S. stock futures traded higher early Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the central could was in no hurry to hike interest rates and would be guided by risks and data posed by the Covid delta variant.

Powell, who delivered a nearly 30-minute speech at the annual Jackson Hole economic policy symposium on Friday, indicated that the Fed may start tapering its pace of bond purchases before the end of 2021.

However, he did not provide a specific timeline for scaling back the extraordinary stimulus, and suggested that even if that happened this year, it will not necessarily start the shot clock on raising interest rates.

The central banker said he anticipates “temporary swings in inflation” because of supply constraints affecting some durable goods, but isn’t greatly concerned with inflation until data indicates it is spiraling to other areas of the economy.

At around 5 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow were indicated 17 points, or 0.05% higher to 35,420 by 5:00 a.m. ET. S&P 500 futures added 3 points, or 0.07% to 4,508.50 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 154.43 points, or 1.01% to 15,432.43.

Zoom Video, Cloudera earnings on tap

On the earnings front, Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM) is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell today.

The video conferencing platform, which gained an incredible amount of popularity during the coronavirus lockdown, is expected to post second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.16 per share on revenue of $991.2 million.

Meanwhile, analysts expect enterprise cloud software maker Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR) to have earned 9 cents per share on revenue of $227.19 million during the second quarter.

Other earnings to watch today include Catalent (NYSE: CTLT), VEON (NASDAQ: VEON), and Nordson (NASDAQ: NDSN).

WTI futures tumble as traders monitor Hurricane Ida

In energy markets, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged lower on Friday morning as Hurricane Ida, which was a key topic in the market earlier, weakened to a tropical storm over Southwestern Mississippi.

Ida slammed the Gulf of Mexico and forced U.S offshore operators to halt 94% of oil production over the weekend as the hurricane rolled ashore south of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Oil traders are now awaiting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to kick off its meeting later this week.

At around 5 a.m. ET, WTI futures dropped 69 cents, or 1% to $68.05 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.46% to $71.37 a barrel.

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