Stock futures slide; Powell says Fed will keep hiking rates to fight inflation

U.S. equity futures

Powell says Fed is prepared to hike rates aggressively

U.S. stock futures tumbled on Wednesday morning, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell vowed to hike interest rates as high as needed to battle soaring inflation.

“What we need to see is inflation coming down in a clear and convincing way and we’re going to keep pushing until we see that. If we don’t see that, we will have to consider moving more aggressively” to tighten financial conditions,” Powell said at an event hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

Powell acknowledged that fighting inflation might cause higher unemployment and slower economic growth, but said there’s a “pathway” for the Fed to use its tools without triggering a full-blown recession.

As of 5 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures fell 91 points, or 0.28% to 32,490. S&P 500 futures lost 17.5 points, or 0.43% to 4,067.25 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures shed 91.75 points, or 0.73% to 12,468.50.

Target, Lowe’s earnings on tap

Target (NYSE: TGT) will today release its financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended April 30. Analysts expect the retailer to announce earnings of $3.07 per share on revenue of $24.37 billion ahead of the opening.

Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW), which is also scheduled to report before the opening bell, is likely to have earned $3.23 per share on revenue of $23.76 billion.

Other companies reporting today include TJX (NYSE: TJX), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), and Analog Devices (NASDAQ: ADI).

JPMorgan shareholders vote against Jamie Dimon’s special $52.6M bonus

JPMorgan’s (NYSE: JPM) shareholders have voted against a $52.6 million stock option award that was part of CEO Jamie Dimon’s 2021 compensation package.

At the bank’s annual investor meeting on Tuesday, only 31% of shareholders voted in favor of the bonus. The payout, which was meant to make Dimon lead JPMorgan for another five years, was in the form of 1.5 million options that Dimon can exercise in 2026.

Say-on-pay votes are only advisory and Dimon is still expected to keep the award. However, these votes are closely followed as a test of shareholders’ attitudes toward executive pay.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) shareholders also on Tuesday voted against compensating some of its key executives, including part of a $178.6 million bonus for CEO Pat Gelsinger.