U.S. stock futures traded higher Wednesday, as traders tried to regain their footing following back-to-back losing sessions.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 176 points or 0.54%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures each gained 0.6%.
Those moves came as Wall Street worried that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan could further strain already tense U.S.-China relations. China had spent weeks warning her not to make the trip. Markets fell further after three Federal Reserve presidents hinted that further rate hikes would be necessary to combat high inflation.
Traders also digested mixed remarks from Federal Reserve officials. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Tuesday he was confident that the U.S. economy could achieve a “soft landing.” Meanwhile, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said the central bank’s work to tame inflation is “far from done,” while Chicago Fed’s Charles Evans said there’s a chance for a smaller rate hike at the next monetary policy meeting.
“Despite the fact most of today’s attention is still riveted on the Federal Reserve and its ongoing fight to bring inflation under control, many economic policies have already embarked on a new easing cycle,” said The Leuthold Group’s Jim Paulsen. “The prospect of lower inflation is not only helping to usher in a new easing cycle but is apt to stoke a private-sector confidence revival that has untapped potential.”
Traders are also anticipating another batch of second-quarter earnings. CVS, Regeneron, Under Armour, and Moderna will report before the bell Wednesday.
In economic data, investors this week are awaiting mortgage demand numbers and PMI data out Wednesday. They will also be watching the July nonfarm payroll report, due Friday.