US pre-open: Stocks seen muted; GameStop tumbles
US stock futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street on Thursday as investors looked ahead to the next rate announcement by the Federal Reserve next week, particularly after Wednesday’s surprise rate hike by the Bank of Canada.
At 1250 BST, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq futures were down 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures were flat.
Tickmill Group said: "On the back of surprise rate hikes from the RBA and BOC this week, traders are mulling the prospect of the Fed opting to retain a hawkish stance at the upcoming FOMC.
"Odds for a further hike in June have jumped to around 35% from less than 20% at the start of the week. Recent Fed commentary has leaned in favour of a pause at the upcoming meeting though with a skew towards further tightening being outlined as likely.
"This so-called ‘hawkish pause’ is likely to prevent USD from dropping in the same way it might have if the Fed simply ended its tightening campaign. However, with fresh hikes seen elsewhere and the ECB widely expected to hike rates further next week, might the Fed opt to go for one last hike this month?"
On the macro front, the latest initial jobless claims data is due at 1330 BST.
In equity markets, GameStop tanked in pre-market trade after it announced on Wednesday that it had fired chief executive Matthew Furlong and appointed board chairman Ryan Cohen as executive chairman with immediate effective. It gave no reason for the termination.