US pre-open: Stocks mixed as recessionary concerns remain in focus
Wall Street futures were pointing to a mixed open ahead of the bell on Friday amid ongoing concerns regarding US monetary policy and weaker earnings.
As of 1230 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.12%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.13% and 0.55% higher, respectively.
The Dow closed 252.40 points lower on Thursday and the tech-heavy Nasdaq turned negative for the year as investors digested another batch of data and comments from a number of Federal Reserve bankers.
Earnings from streaming giant Netflix were in focus prior to the opening bell, with the company posting stronger-than-expected subscriber growth but quarterly earnings that missed analysts' estimates.
Also drawing an amount of investor attention, International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva cautioned that while the global economic outlook has begun to improve, there was still a long way to go. She highlighted that while inflation was now easing and that China's reopening looked set to aid global growth, ongoing risks remained, including higher oil and gas prices and the Ukraine-Russia war.
AvaTrade's Naeem Aslam said: "Traders are concerned about the Fed's monetary policy and they are concerned that perhaps they priced things wrong when it comes to the Fed monetary policy. Basically, the anticipation among investors and traders has been that the Fed is more than likely to slow down the pace of interest rate as inflation has eased off from its 40-year high.
"Speeches made by various Fed members this week added only more noise to this matter as there was no clear direction if the Fed will be slowing down the pace of the interest rate hike this week. Nonetheless, we believe that it is highly likely that we will see the Fed reducing the interest rate and the real reason investors are losing confidence or becoming a little wary about the stock market rally is that every day we hear more companies cutting job cuts and economic data is showing that economic engine is losing steam. This elevates concerns among traders. Perhaps the recession is going to be much deeper."
On the macro front, existing home sales data for December will be out at 1500 GMT, while Federal Reserve bankers Patrick Harker and Christopher Waller will deliver speeches at 1400 GMT and 1800 GMT, respectively.
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com