Downward pressure on stock markets that sent the NASDAQ and the Russel 2000 down 1.4% in yesterday’s trading continued through the Asia Pacific session where the Hang Seng lost 1.3% and the Nikkei fell 0.7%. Stocks have been trying to stabilize this morning with mixed success. In Europe, the Dax is flat while the FTSE is up 0.4%, and in early US trading, Dow futures are flat while NASDAQ futures are down 0.4%.
It appears to be a pretty sloppy day for trading across a number of markets. Commodities are also mixed today with natural gas down another 1.6%, WTI crude oil down 0.6% but clinging to $70.00/bbl, but copper climbing 0.4%. Meanwhile, investors appear to still be rethinking their previous enthusiasm for risk, as meme stocks continue to retrench. For example, AMC Theaters are down another 7.1% premarket after plunging 15.3% yesterday, while Gamestop is down 2.8% premarket after falling 13.9% on Monday.
Investors appear to be primarily concerned about tomorrow’s Fed meeting and particularly whether the US central bank could announce or signal intentions to accelerate its tapering program or move up the timetable for its first interest rate increase. US producer prices increased even more than feared by investors (9.6% vs street 9.2%, previous revised up to 8.8% from 8.6%), further increasing pressure on the central bank to deal with inflation.