Stock futures add to declines after Fed's interest rate outlook

Traders will be digesting the latest jobless and manufacturing numbers

U.S. equity futures were trading lower after Federal Reserve officials indicated they expect higher interest rates by late 2023.

The major futures indexes suggested a decline of 0.4% when the Thursday trading session begins on Wall Street.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index fell 0.5% Wednesday after Fed projections showed some of its board members expect short-term interest rates to rise by half a percentage point by late 2023. Ultra-low rates from the Fed and other central banks have propelled a global stock market rebound from last year's plunge amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Fed's announcement reflected growing confidence in the U.S. economy as more people are vaccinated against the coronavirus and business activity revives.

Investors have worried the Fed and other central banks might feel pressure to withdraw stimulus to cool rising inflation. Fed officials have said they believe inflation will be short-lived, a stance they repeated Wednesday.

FED'S POWELL PREDICTS 'TRANSITORY' INFLATION, BUT WARNS IT COULD BE 'HIGHER' THAN EXPECTED

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said conditions have improved enough to start discussing when to slow bond purchases. The Fed is buying $120 billion a month to inject money into financial markets and keep longer-term interest rates low.

Before the opening bell, the Labor Department is out with its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 359,000, down from a pandemic low of 376,000 claims the prior week. 

Also, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve releases its June index of manufacturing activity for eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. It’s expected to slip half a point to 31.0 from 31.5 in May. Remember that any reading above zero means that more manufacturers say business conditions are improving rather than worsening.

In Europe, London's FTSE was down 0.4%, Germany's DAX declined 0.1% and France's CAC was off 0.1%.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.9%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4% and China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35144.31 +82.76 +0.24%
SP500 S&P 500 4422.3 +10.51 +0.24%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14840.712692 +3.72 +0.03%

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 4,223.70 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8% to 34,033.67. The Nasdaq composite shed 0.2%, to 14,039.68.

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In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 10 cents to $72.03 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 3 cents on Wednesday to $72.15. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, shed 17 cents to $74.22 per barrel in London. It gained 40 cents the previous session to $74.39.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.