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Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures edge higher after worst month for equities since the last recession

U.S. stock futures pointed higher Monday after the worst month for equities since the U.S. economy was first slammed by the emergence of coronavirus.

What’s happening

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 91 points, or 0.3% to 32973.

Futures on the S&P 500

gained 11.75 points, or 0.3%, to 4139.

Futures on the Nasdaq 100

increased 63.5 points, or 0.5% to 12916.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 939 points, or 2.77%, to 32977, the S&P 500

declined 156 points, or 3.63%, to 4132, and the Nasdaq Composite

dropped 537 points, or 4.17%, to 12335.

The 8.8% drop in April for the S&P 500 was the worst since March 2020, and meant that the index re-entered correction territory, which is defined as a drop of at least 10% from a recent high.

What’s driving markets

Monday will feature the release of the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, as well as more corporate earnings.

But the focus is on the state of the economy ahead of what’s expected to be a half-point rate hike from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Michael Kramer, the founder of Mott Capital, says the best chance of a rally this week is after the Fed decision on Wednesday, as the hike is expected, and as stocks typically rally after press conferences. But he doesn’t think any rally will last.

“I don’t see how this market rallies unless the Fed pivots to a more dovish stance or valuations get low enough that fundamentals can support the market. I don’t think fundamentals can help this market yet. So lower prices are likely to come after any FOMC rebound,” said Kramer.

Berkshire Hathaway

over the weekend reported stronger-than-forecast earnings after buying back $3.2 billion in stock. Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett told shareholders that a “casino” market allowed the conglomerate to quickly build up a stake in Occidental Petroleum
as he also revealed that he’s back in the merger arbitrage business after buying up nearly 10% of Activision Blizzard
the videogame maker that’s agreed to be purchased by Microsoft.

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