U.S. stock futures plunged Thursday morning as recession jitters returned to Wall Street after a fleeting relief bounce in the previous session spurred by the Bank of England’s bond-buying move.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 plummeted 1.1% in the early trade, while those on the Dow Jones Industrial erased 250 points, or around 0.9%. Contracts on the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite barreled down 1.4%.
On the economic data front, initial jobless claims slid to 193,000, the lowest since April, in the week ended Sept. 24 from a downwardly revised 213,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists called for 215,000 claims, according to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
In corporate news, CarMax (KMX) shares tumbled 15% pre-market after the vehicle-buyer reported second quarter earnings that missed Wall Street estimates, citing “affordability challenges” that weighed on sales.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) stock moved higher on Thursday despite a wider quarterly loss as persistent merchandising and inventory snafus and inflationary pressures hit the home goods retailer. Shares rose 4% ahead of the open.
The renewed risk-off mood places all three major averages on pace to give up gains that came after England’s central bank said Wednesday it would resume bond purchases to help stabilize financial and currency markets. Investors celebrated the shift away from aggressive policy tightening by officials in recent months. The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq each rallied roughly 2%.
EY Parthenon Chief Economist Gregory Daco said in a note that “the absence of proper policy coordination along with the speed and synchronization of rate hikes” risks an “excessive and disorderly tightening of financial conditions.”
“In the UK, the economic outlook has recently taken a turn for the worse with the release of Prime Minister Liz Truss’ budget leading to a market rout, with treasury yields surging to their highest since 2010 and the British pound plunging to its lowest level in 37 years,” Daco said.
Following the Bank of England’s intervention Wednesday – the purchase of around 65 billion pounds, or roughly $69 million, of long-dated gilts – British 30-year bond yields tumbled 100 basis points after touching a two-decade high.
A man stands outside the Bank of England in London, Britain, September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Meanwhile in the U.S. on Thursday, Treasury yields nudged higher after rising – and then falling – at the fastest pace in decades. On Wednesday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note — a crucial economic benchmark — briefly hit 4%, hitting an important milestone amid the worst bond sell-off since 1949.
Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Wednesday that the decision by his central bank peers across the Atlantic to return to bond buying did not change his views on U.S. Federal Reserve policy or stoke fears England’s economic faults could pour over.
“I would expect growth to be below trend, we would start to see demand for a wider range of products start to soften, and we would start to see labor markets start to be more rationalized,” Bostic said, adding that if job openings fall substantially, officials may contemplate stopping and holding at that level.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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