Live stock market news updates: Stock futures are higher ahead of business data, more Powell testimonials

U.S. stock futures rose early Thursday morning, ahead of Sunday’s employment data and the second day of Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell’s testimony on Capitol Hill.

Futures related to the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and Dow Jones Industrial futures rose 40 points, or just 0.1%. Contracts on the technologically high Nasdaq rose 0.7%. In previous trading, all three major indices ended in the red, but changed little.

The stock tried to maintain this week’s growth after an increase of more than 2% in order to start the four-day trading period, shortened for the holidays. Last week, the S&P 500 fell 5.8%, the most since March 2020, representing the second consecutive weekly loss of the reference value of more than 5%.

Fed President Powell will be in the spotlight again on Thursday when he will comment on monetary policy and inflation on the second day of his meeting with lawmakers.

The leader of the US Federal Reserve told the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday in prepared comments that the Fed was “in favor of lowering inflation, slightly easing the language from last week which indicated that its fight against inflation”.

In his testimony, Powell also acknowledged that the recession was a “possibility” and acknowledged that a soft landing would be a “very challenging” feat in the Fed’s fight to restore price stability.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs at a hearing on the “Semi-Annual Report on Monetary Policy to Congress” at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 22, 2022. REUTERS / Elizabeth Frantz

“The Fed is behind – they’ve been behind for a while,” Ryan Belanger of Claro Advisors told Yahoo Finance Live on Wednesday. “They have their business ahead of them […] the story of the soft landing is somewhat of a myth. “

Earlier this week, BlackRock strategists warned that a recession is almost inevitable in the Fed’s path, arguing that the current campaign to raise interest rates is likely to halt economic growth without necessarily addressing inflation.

“The Fed is not looking for a recession, although, in our opinion, it would be necessary if it wanted to return inflation to 2%,” the company said.

Other Wall Street heavyweights have also stepped up recession talks, with warnings from economists from Citi, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank this week.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alekandraandnic

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