S&P 500, Dow on track for worst week in 2 months on recovery, taper fears

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday, as concerns over a slowing economic recovery and the possible tapering of monetary stimulus hurt economy-linked sectors and put the Dow and the S&P 500 on course for their worst week since mid-June.

Signage hangs over the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 19, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Oil majors Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp slipped 0.8% each, tracking steep losses in crude prices, while shares of major Wall Street banks dropped nearly 0.6% each in premarket trading. [O/R]

The S&P 500 energy sector is down about 7.6% this week, the most among all the 11 major S&P sectors.

Industrial stocks, including Caterpillar Inc, Boeing Co, and 3M Co, which generally perform better at a time of strong economic growth, shed between 0.2% and 0.9%.

Global equities took a backseat this week, with U.S. stocks slipping from record highs as downbeat economic data from China compounded concerns regarding the outlook for U.S. stimulus.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed officials largely expect to reduce the central bank’s emergency monthly purchases of $120 billion of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities later this year, amid a recovery in the jobs market.

Focus is now on the Fed’s annual research conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next week for any read about the central bank’s next steps.

At 7:01 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 148 points, or 0.43%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19 points, or 0.43%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 40.75 points, or 0.27%.

For the week, the blue-chip Dow and the benchmark S&P 500 are down about 1.7% and 1.4% respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has fallen 1.9%, its worst since mid-May.

Amazon.com, Microsoft Corp, Google-owner Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Netflix Inc, which had led Wall Street’s record rally from pandemic lows hit last year, slid between 0.2% and 0.7%.

Deere & Co rose 1% after it beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue and lifted its full-year earnings forecast on strong demand for farm and construction equipment.

The Invesco Golden Dragon China ETF was set for its eighth straight weekly loss – its longest losing streak in a decade – on concerns over China’s widening crackdown on sectors ranging from technology to luxury goods makers. E-commerce giant Alibaba Holdings has lost about $76 billion of its market value in the past four days and is headed for its worst week ever.

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