U.S. Stocks May Show A Lack Of Direction In Early Trading

Following the sell-off seen over the course of the previous session, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures nearly unchanged.

Uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets may keep some traders on the sidelines following recent volatility on Wall Street.

The sharp pullback during trading on Tuesday came on the heels of the strong upward move seen last week, which in turn reflected a rebound from the sell-off seen earlier this month.

Traders may also be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Powell is due to participate in an economic policy panel discussion at the European Central Bank Forum on Central Banking alongside ECB President Christine Lagarde and Bank of England Governor Andrew Baile.

In U.S. economic news, revised data released by the Commerce Department showed U.S. economic activity shrank by slightly more than previously estimated in the first quarter of 2022.

The report showed the decrease in real gross domestic product in the first quarter was revised to 1.6 percent from the previously reported 1.5 percent. Economists had expected the drop in GDP to be unrevised.

The slightly bigger than previously estimated decline in GDP in the first quarter came on the heels of the 6.9 percent spike in GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Stocks showed a substantial move to the downside during trading on Tuesday, coming under pressure after failing to sustain an early upward move. The major averages all moved notably lower, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a particularly steep loss.

The major averages finished the session just off their worst levels of the day. The Dow tumbled 491.27 points or 1.6 percent to 30,936.99, the Nasdaq plummeted 343.01 points or 3 percent to 11,181.54 and the S&P 500 plunged 78.56 points or 2 percent to 3,821.55.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1.4 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.73 to $113.49 a barrel after surging $2.19 to $111.76 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,832.30, up $11.10 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,821.20. On Tuesday, gold dipped $3.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 136.38 yen compared to the 136.14 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0517 compared to yesterday’s $1.0519.

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