Stock futures were little changed Wednesday as investors awaited more guidance from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the central bank’s tightening path.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 10 points or 0.03%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.07% and 0.04%, respectively.
Both the Dow and the S&P 500 declined for a third straight session Tuesday amid relatively thin trading volumes. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished Tuesday little changed. The S&P 500 is about flat on the month after rallying more than 9% in July.
The three-day Jackson Hole economic symposium starts Thursday with Powell slated to speak Friday morning. Fed watchers expect him to reinforce the central bank’s goal of squashing inflation and keeping expectations about future price gains in check.
“Financial markets will remain in choppy waters until Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech on Friday,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “He may struggle to convince markets that he is comfortable with tightening policy and triggering a recession. The economy is clearly slowing but it is still too early for the Fed to signal that they will be less aggressive with tightening policy.”
Investors will also monitor incoming data to gauge the health of the economy. Durable goods and pending home sales are on deck for Wednesday.