Stock Market News Today, 6/21/23 – Futures Down as Powell’s Speech Takes Center Stage

U.S. Futures are down this morning, as traders try to find direction after witnessing continuous high streaks in the last few trading sessions. The three major indices finished the trading session in the red on Tuesday after a long holiday weekend, putting a pause on the rally. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are down 0.18%, 0.10%, and 0.06%, respectively, at 4:00 a.m., EST, June 21.

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Markets worldwide will focus on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee scheduled for 10:00 a.m., EST, today. If Powell’s speech carries a hawkish tone, it may stir a sell-off in the market, even though he already prepped the markets last week to expect two more interest rate hikes in the future.

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In the meantime, shares of FedEx (NYSE:FDX) plunged in after-hours trading yesterday, after the company posted mixed Q4FY23 results. Also, shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) lost 4.5% yesterday, following the announcement of CEO succession in a surprise move. BABA’s unexpected move also dragged down stocks of other Chinese players amid macro worries.

Elsewhere, U.K.’s core inflation jumped to 7.1% annually in May, its highest level since 1992. The latest consumer price index (CPI) figures have added greater pressure to Bank of England (BOE) officials while they prepare for another 25 basis point rate hike announcement tomorrow, June 22, BOE’s thirteenth consecutive increase. 

European indices are trading mixed today, following U.K.’s hotter-than-expected inflation figures. Britain’s annual headline CPI came in at 8.7% in May, unchanged from April. Also, the 0.6% monthly figure remains unchanged.

Asia-Pacific Markets End Mostly in Red

Most Asia-Pacific indices finished in the red today. Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong indices ended lower, dragged by tech stocks.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and China’s Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component indices ended the trading session down by 1.98%, 1.31%, and 2.18%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Japanese stocks bucked the trend and continued their momentum. Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices ended up by 0.56% and 0.49%, respectively.

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