Stock futures plunge as investors look to economic data, Fed speeches

Equity futures traded lower on Thursday, building on losses from the previous session, as rate and recession fears rattled market sentiment.

Futures contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 224 points, or 0.7%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.7% and 0.9% respectively.

Wall Street is coming out of a losing session. The S&P 500 fell 1.56% on Wednesday for its worst day since Dec. 21. 15. The Dow lost over 613 points, or 1.81%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.24%, posting seven straight days of gains. Bank stocks such as JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo slid, weighing on the broader market.

Disappointing retail sales and a weaker-than-expected producer price index stoked fears of a recession, sending stocks tumbling.

On Thursday, investors will assess more economic data that could provide further clues about the degree of interest rate hikes by the Fed at its next meeting. The first unemployment insurance claims, housing starts and the manufacturing survey from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will be released in the morning. Several central bank leaders, including Fed Vice Chairman Lael Brainard, will also speak throughout the day on the way forward.

Investors scanned the latest data and remarks from the Fed for clues about rising rates. But, while recent figures point to lower inflation, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon thinks rates will hit 5%.

“I think there’s a lot of underlying inflation, which won’t go away so quickly,” Dimon told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Investors will also be watching major quarterly reports to see if an earnings recession is brewing. Netflix, Procter & Gamble and Truist Financial are among the companies reporting earnings on Thursday.

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