Stock futures were flat on Thursday as Wall Street looked to capitalize on its best day in nearly a month.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 26 points, or less than 0.1%. S&P 500 futures fell about 0.1%, while those of the Nasdaq 100 also traded down 0.1%.
Traders were eagerly awaiting a Q&A session from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the Cato Institute later in the day as they sought more clues about the central bank’s plans for future rate hikes. The European Central Bank is also expected to announce its latest policy decision on Thursday.
The stock market comes out of a strong rebound during normal trading hours on Wednesday. The Dow gained about 436 points, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 added 1.8% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.1%.
It was the best day since Aug. 10 for all three averages, and the Nasdaq ended a seven-day losing streak.
Even with Wednesday’s rally, stocks remain broadly in a downtrend. Concerns about a slowing economy and further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve are pushing some investors away from the riskier segments of the market.
“Recession risk is increasing and so we have taken a more defensive stance in our portfolios. However, high inflation means traditional ‘risk’ strategies like cash and government bonds can hold back total return,” Lauren Goodwin, an economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments, said in a note to clients.
“We are fully invested in our portfolios, using selective bets in this overall risk-neutral position to build resilience against volatility and inflation. In our equity leg, this includes a strong overweight to value stocks and payers dividends,” Goodwin added.
On Thursday morning, investors will get the latest insight into the US economy with data on unemployment insurance claims. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 235,000 initial jobless claims, up slightly from 232,000 the previous week.