US equity futures traded flat near all-time highs in a muted session as traders prepared for the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium with little action across markets. The dollar was steady, while Treasurys and bitcoin fell and oil reversed losses. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 were fractionally lower after trading in the green for much of the session. Their underlying indexes closed at a record as strong corporate earnings and a rally in commodity prices outweighed lingering concerns about the threat of Covid-19 to the global economy.
“There is a sense of stabilization in the markets, as investors are already looking forward toward the Jackson Hole meeting,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior strategist at Credit Agricole CIB. “With uncertainty regarding Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s message, markets are likely to not take new major positions until there is more clarity on the Fed’s outlook.”
In premarket trading, Locust Walk Acquisition soared after its shareholders approved its SPAC deal with Effector Therapeutics. Cassava Sciences plunged 22% after a lawyer asked the FDA to halt the company’s clinical trials of an experimental drug, citing concerns about the quality of past studies of the medicine.. Meanwhile, the meme frenzy which staged an abrupt return late on Tuesday continued: AMC Entertainment (AMC), Express Inc. (EXPR) and Koss Corp. (KOSS), all of which were caught up in the meme stock frenzy earlier in the year, are climbing in U.S. premarket trading. AMC gains 4% and Express rises 7.6%, while Koss advances 2.1%.
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