US equity futures are trading where they were on Monday evening, having flatlined in a narrow, boring 20-points range on either side of 4480 for the past week, as virtually nobody wanted to take on any major new positions ahead of Jackson Hole. Well, the good news is that in less than 3 hours, J-Powell’s much overhyped speech at J-Hole where he will barely – if at all – mention the taper is almost behind us which hopefully should unlock some volatility in markets. At 700am, S&P futures were up 12.50 or 0.3% to 4479, Dow futures were up 80 to 0.22% and Nasdaq futures were up 50 or 0.33%. Treasury yields dipped, the dollar was flat and bitcoin was flat around $47,500.
Traders are awaiting Jay “BRRR” Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole symposium as a now-revering surge in delta variant cases and faster inflation paint a mixed picture for the US central bank. Four of the Fed’s leading hawks are pushing for tapering to begin this year – including Bostic today . Meanwhile President Joe Biden’s advisers are considering recommending Powell for a second term a move that would bolster optimism over accommodative monetary policy. Unless of course Janet Yellen replaces him which would be even more accommodative.
In the premarket, oil majors Exxon, Chevron and Schlumberger rose between 0.6% and 1.4%, tracking crude prices, while big banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, were up about 0.4%. ADRs of Chinese companies were mixed after a report that China plans to ban companies with large amounts of sensitive consumer data from going public in the U.S. Alibaba (BABA) drops 3.2%, while Didi Global (DIDI) gains 1% and JD.com (JD) rises 1%. Here are some of other notable movers today: