US STOCKS-Futures rise on growing bets of rate cuts next year

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 11/29/23 06:09 AM EST

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Futures up: Dow 0.29%, S&P 0.33%, Nasdaq 0.45%

Nov 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as investors remained optimistic about an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve next year, and multi-month lows in Treasury yields that boosted sentiment.

Wall Street indexes ended marginally higher on Tuesday after some positive commentary from the Fed, while upbeat consumer data provided some lift.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller, deemed a hawk, on Tuesday hinted at lower interest rates in the months ahead if inflation continued to ease, while Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee voiced concerns about keeping interest rates "too high for too long."

The remarks sent U.S. Treasury yields to multi-month lows, with the benchmark 10-year note last standing at 4.2956%.

"This was the first time a Fed official discussed the possibility of a cut, and that's maybe why market participants ignored comments by Governor Bowman that higher rates may be needed in order to bring inflation back down to the 2% objective," said Charalampos Pissouros, senior investment analyst at XM in a note.

Fed Governor Michelle Bowman on Tuesday alluded to the possibility of another rate hike.

While a pause in rate hike in the upcoming December meeting has been almost fully priced in, money markets now see a nearly 73% chance of at least a 25-basis point rate cut in May 2024, up from about 65% a day earlier, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Megacap stocks edged higher in premarket trading, with Meta Platforms (META), Nvidia (NVDA) and Alphabet up between 0.5% and 0.8%.

Tesla added 1.0%, and was on course to rise for the fourth straight session.

Traders are awaiting the second estimate of the U.S. GDP, expected later in the day, and the release of the "Beige Book", a snapshot of the U.S. economy, at 2:00 p.m. ET, for further cues on how the economy is faring under restrictive monetary conditions.

Focus would also be on any policy comments from Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin, who is slated for an interview at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Preliminary numbers for the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index - the Fed's preferred inflation gauge- is also due later in the day, ahead of the final numbers on Thursday.

At 5:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 102 points, or 0.29%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 15 points, or 0.33%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 71.5 points, or 0.45%.

Among single stocks, CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD) added 1.5% before the bell as the firm forecast fourth-quarter revenue above street estimates, driven by resilient demand for its cybersecurity offerings.

Okta (OKTA) slid 6.4% after the cybersecurity firm said that hackers stole information on all users of its customer support system in a network breach two months ago.

NetApp (NTAP) jumped 12.6% after the cloud-based data management platform raised its annual profit forecast on resilient demand for its cloud-based data solutions. (Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

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