AP and Reuters

Futures dip as debt ceiling impasse keeps investors on edge


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 4, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. stock index futures slipped on Wednesday as yet another round of talks between the White House and Republican representatives over raising the debt ceiling failed to make a breakthrough, keeping investors on edge.

The lack of progress in talks to raise the $31.4 trillion borrowing limit ahead of the June 1 deadline has weighed on Wall Street, with its benchmark indexes ending the previous session sharply lower.

Shorter-dated Treasury yields continued to rise, with yields on the 1-month bond hitting another record high at 5.8920%, as worries about a possible government debt default rise.

“Optimism over a debt ceiling deal is getting tired out as the two parties are ‘close on a number of issues’ but we still haven’t got a deal,” Mohit Kumar, chief financial economist at Jefferies said in a note.

“Odds of a deal by end of this week or early next week are looking good, but its politics, so accidents can happen.”

Investors also await minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May 2-3 meeting, due later in the day, to assess the central bank’s interest-rate path.

At 7:10 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 124 points, or 0.37%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 14.75 points, or 0.35%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 48.5 points, or 0.35%.

Among early movers, Agilent Technologies Inc (A.N) shares plunged 9.4% in premarket trading after the company cut its annual sales and profit forecasts.

Chipmaker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) dipped 1.0% ahead of its quarterly earnings after markets close.

PacWest Bancorp (PACW.O) rose 7.3% as the regional lender sold its property lending division to real estate financing firm Roc360, seeking to bolster confidence in its financial health.

Among mid-cap retail earnings, Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) advanced 10.8% as the department store chain reaffirmed its annual forecast even as first-quarter sales missed estimates.

Urban Outfitters Inc (URBN.O) jumped 11.0% as the apparel retailer posted upbeat first-quarter results, boosted by strong demand and leaner inventory levels.

VF Corp (VFC.N) gained 2.9% after beating fourth-quarter profit and sales estimates, helped by strong demand for its North Face brand.

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