Futures slip after Fed minutes signal more rate hikes

Futures slip after Fed minutes signal more rate hikes

(Reuters) – U.S. stock futures fell on Thursday after the Federal Reserve’s minutes showed policy makers broadly agreed on the need to raise interest rates further, fanning concerns that triggered a brutal selloff last week.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Fed’s view, detailed in the minutes of its September meeting released on Wednesday, bolsters expectations of a fourth interest rate increase in December and chances of further hikes next year, despite President Donald Trump’s sharp criticism.

The hawkish commentary sent yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR near multi-year highs touched last week.

The minutes were even more hawkish than what investors were expecting, with some suggesting pushing rates into “restrictive territory,” in other words, beyond their neutral rate, FXTM Chief Market Strategist Hussein Sayed wrote in a note.

“If interest rates continue to move higher from their current levels, investors will become even more reluctant to buy the dips in stocks.”

At 7:06 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 77 points, or 0.3 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 10.5 points, or 0.37 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 36 points, or 0.49 percent.

Along with rising borrowing costs, investors also have to weigh the effect of tariffs and wage pressure on corporate profit as the third-quarter earnings season gains steam.

Profits at S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 21.9 percent in the quarter, according to I/B/E/S Refinitiv. Of the 51 companies that have reported so far, 84.3 percent have beaten analyst expectations.

Shares of Textron (TXT.N) dropped 10.5 percent after the Cessna jet maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, partly due to lower sales of its turboprop aircraft.

Alcoa’s (AA.N) shares rose 5.7 percent after the top U.S. aluminum producer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as a series of supply hits boosted alumina prices.

At 8:30 a.m. ET (12:30 GMT) the Labor Department’s data is expected to show U.S. jobless claims fell to 212,000 last week, from 214,000 the week before.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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