Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures wobble as weak China data fuels more global recession worries


U.S. stock futures struggled on Monday, as a fresh batch of weak data from China fueled more concerns about the state of the global economy.

How are stock-index futures trading?
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.39% fell 0.2% to 4,009.25
  • Dow Jones Industrial Averages futures YM00, -0.17% dropped 18 points, or less than 0.1%, to 32,094
  • Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.62% fell 0.4% to 12,324

On Friday, the Dow industrials DJIA, +1.47% climbed 466.36 points, or 1.5%, to close at 32,196.66, the S&P 500  SPX, +2.39%  climbed 2.4% to 4,023.89. The Nasdaq Composite  COMP, +3.82% jumped 3.8% to end at 11,805, booking its biggest daily percentage gain since Nov. 4, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Last week, the Dow fell 2.1%, the S&P 500 slid 2.4% and the Nasdaq dropped 2.8%. It was the S&P 500’s worst losing streak since June 2011 — its sixth weekly fall, while the Nasdaq fell a sixth consecutive week, booking its longest losing streak since November 2012.

Read: ‘Nowhere to hide?’ What’s next as stocks slump toward bear market amid stagflation fears

What’s driving the markets?

Friday saw a relief rally for stocks after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said bigger rate hikes were off the table for now. However, that didn’t stop those sharp weekly losses, with the Dow in its longest slump since 2001, as investors remain concerned the central bank can get inflation under control without causing a slowdown.

Fresh economic data from China was giving investors pause, as that country revealed continued fallout from recent COVID lockdowns.

“The slump in retail sales and industrial production was the weakest since March 2020. The latter also had the lowest print on record, with the worst decline coming from auto manufacturing (-31.8%),” said a team of Deutsche Bank strategists led by Jim Reid, in a note to clients.

The data complicates an already cloudy picture for U.S. investors, experiencing a bear market for tech stocks and close to one for the S&P 500.

Goldman Sachs cut its 2022 U.S. growth outlook to 2.4% from 2.6% previously and to 1.6% from 2.2% for 2023, on fears over an uncertain growth path. The bank cut its S&P 500 target again, to 4,300, citing tightening financial conditions and those growth worries.

Read: ‘Very, very high’ risk of recession, warns Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein

For Monday, the Empire State Manufacturing index for May is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Tuesday will see the release of April retail sales.

Retailers will be in the spotlight this week, with Walmart Inc. WMT, +0.39% and Home Depot Inc. HD, +2.19% are due to report Tuesday, and Target Corp. TGT, +1.13%, Lowe’s Cos. LOW, +1.20% later in the week. Deere & Co. DE, +1.02% is another big names expected this week.

Take-Two Interatcive Software Inc. TTWO, +3.50% will report results after the close.

Oil prices CL00, -0.11% were modestly lower, while U.S. wheat futures W00, +4.42% were surging after India said over the weekend it would ban almost all exports of the commodity. The country has suffered an intense heat wave that has damaged its crops, while global agriculture prices have surging this year from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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