U.S. stock futures point to a weak open as focus turns to meme stocks


Wall Street poised to open lower

U.S. stock markets were set for a negative open on Wednesday after closing the previous session higher as traders brushed off hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

As of 5:35 a.m. ET, futures tied to the Dow were indicated 70 points, or 0.2% lower to 34,639. S&P 500 futures lost 10.75 points, or 0.24% to 4,494.25 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gave away 44 points, or 0.3% to 14,610.

On Tuesday, the Dow rallied 254 points, or 0.74%, while the S&P 500 gained 50.43 points, or 1.13% and the Nasdaq Composite soared 270.36 points, or 1.95%.

The gains came after Powell said Fed policymakers would consider hiking interest rates by 50 basis points, instead of the normal 25 basis points.

GameStop shares extend rally on hopes of a short squeeze

GameStop (NYSE: GME) extended its recent rally in the premarket trading session on Wednesday, amid hopes that a new short squeeze is on the way, and Chairman Ryan Cohen’s disclosure that he bought more than $10 million worth of the company’s stock.

Shares of the videogame retailer popped $18.69, or 15.18% to $141.83 in premarket hours. The stock advanced $28.94, or 30.72% to end Tuesday’s regular session at $123.14.

Cohen disclosed in a filing on Tuesday that his investment firm RC Ventures bought 100,000 GameStop shares for a combined $10.2 million, at a price range of $96.81 to $108.82.

The surge in GameStop shares has also lifted other meme stocks higher. AMC (NYSE: AMC) and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) were up 7% and 3%, respectively.

Russia warns oil supply may fall due storm-damaged pipeline

Meanwhile, crude futures were trading in the green territory early Wednesday following a warning by Russia that oil supply from a major pipeline would be lower.

Russian authorities said supplies sent through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s (CPC) pipeline will be cut to facilitate the repair of a damage caused by a storm.

The Russian government is the biggest shareholder in the 940-mile pipeline with a 24% stake, while Exxon (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) hold stakes of 15% and 7%, respectively.

As of 5:45 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.79, or 1.64% to $111.06 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures climbed $2.15, or 1.86% to $117.63 a barrel.