From wsj.com’s “U.S. Stock Futures Fall as Fed Outlook Rattles Investors” posted early Thursday:
U.S. stock futures fell Thursday, pointing to a steepening rout in the S&P 500 as investors became unsettled by the Federal Reserve’s dour outlook as well as conflicting signals about when vaccines may become available.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 dropped 1.2%, suggesting that the benchmark may fall for a second day after the opening bell in New York. Contracts tied to the Nasdaq Composite fell around 1.3%, pushing the tech-heavy index further into negative territory for the month.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments Wednesday that the economic outlook is “highly uncertain” are weighing on sentiment. Policy makers indicated concern that easy gains from reopening the economy could mask deeper scars among the most vulnerable businesses, with people likely to face longer spells of joblessness. The central bank also signaled that interest rates would stay near zero until 2023.
“The Fed said it would keep rates low for ages. But that’s not enough,” said James Athey, senior investment manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “Not taking away is no longer sufficient for this market. You need to do more, more, more.”
My take: Hey, everybody’s hurting.