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Stocks - Futures Slip Ahead of Powell Testimony

Investing.com - U.S. futures slipped on Wednesday as investors waited for clues on possible rate cuts from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Powell will testify before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday, and is likely to be questioned about the direction of monetary policy amid growing signs of strain on the economy stemming from the U.S.'s various trade disputes. Last week’s stronger-than-expected jobs report has checked expectations for an aggressive move to loosen policy that were sparked by previous comments from Powell.

The chance of a quarter-point rate cut at the Fed’s meeting at the end of July has been priced in at nearly 100%, but the implied likelihood of three cuts by the end of the year has decreased to below 50%.

Nasdaq 100 futures fell 30 points or 0.4% by 6:40 AM ET (10:40 GMT), while Dow futures slipped 80 points or 0.3% and S&P 500 futures inched down 9 points or 0.3%.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained 0.5% after Bloomberg reported that the company is getting ready to increase production, citing internal emails.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) fell1.2% amid lingering concern at the $2.6 billion price tag on its bid for Acacia Communications, which was announced Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) slipped 0.3% ahead of a key court hearing on the tender to build the U.S. military’s first “war cloud” system.

Semiconductor companies inched down, with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) falling 0.8% and Micron (NASDAQ:MU) down 0.2%.

On the data front, wholesale trade figures for May come out at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

In commodities, crude oil jumped 2.4% to a one-week high of $59.22 a barrel, while gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,397.45 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, declined 0.1% to 97.037.

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