Stock Futures Extend Slump Amid Rate Worries


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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to more selling on Wall Street as solid economic data have pushed Treasury rates higher over the past several sessions.

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As of 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 62 points, or 0.39%, to 15936, S&P 500 futures dipped 4.8 points, or 0.26%, to 1795 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 4.2 points to 3478.

The broad S&P 500 rallied for eight weeks in a row, leading up to this week. However, the markets are solidly in the red this week. The losses have been, ironically, driven by solid data. For example, traders got a batch of stronger-than-expected manufacturing data Monday, followed by better-than-expected UK construction data Tuesday.

The benchmark 10-year yield climbed for three days in a row ended Monday in the biggest such rise since November as traders sold the U.S. debt.

"Without a dollar of tapering and without any hint of it happening sooner rather than later, the continued process of the US treasury market raising long term interest rates that finally impacted US stocks yesterday is the excuse for selling in most Asian markets and across the board in Europe today," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group said in an e-mail.

"After the impressive gains seen just over the past month, anything would be enough to see a breather in stocks but there is nothing more relevant than a rise in rates in reevaluating equity investment positions."

The concern, according to analysts, is as the economy shows more signs of strengthening, the Federal Reserve is going to be more inclined to taper its vast bond-purchasing program.

The economic docket is light on the day, with a report due on the services sector from the Institute from Supply Management due out at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Big Three U.S. automakers also report monthly sales on the day.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $93.91 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.12% to $2.682 a gallon. Gold rose $1.30, or 0.11%, to $1,223 a troy ounce.

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