Futures Dip as Oil Rally Fuels Inflation Worries

U.S. stock index futures slipped on Monday as surging commodity prices added to inflation worries, which could cloud the earnings season set to start with Wall Street banks later this week.

Rising raw material costs, labor shortages, and other supply chain bottlenecks have raised concerns of elevated prices denting corporate profit.

U.S. oil rose nearly 3 percent and touched a seven-year high as an energy crisis gripping the major economies showed no sign of easing.

But it lifted shares of Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., and APA Corp. between 1.2 percent and 3 percent in premarket trading.

Mega-caps Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Amazon.com Inc. fell between 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent.

“There are undoubtedly significant risks to growth borne out of the recent rise in prices, with surging natural gas prices bringing the potential for sharp increases to both energy and food expenses,” Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG wrote in a client note.

“Inflation looks like it will be here for some time.”

At 7:01 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 117 points, or 0.34 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were down 21.5 points, or 0.49 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 107.25 points, or 0.72 percent.

Earnings season will kick off this week, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. reporting on Wednesday, followed by Bank of America Corp., Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup Inc. on Thursday and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Friday.

Analysts see a 29.6 percent year-over-year increase in profit for S&P 500 companies in the third quarter, according to IBES data from Refinitiv as of Friday, down from 96.3 percent growth in the second quarter.

All of Wall Street’s main indexes had ended the last week with gains, but investors still expect the Federal Reserve to begin tapering asset purchases later this year.

After data last week showed weaker jobs growth than expected in September, investors are now looking toward inflation and retail sales numbers this week, as well as minutes of the Fed’s last meeting that could confirm that a November tapering was discussed.

Southwest Airlines Co. slipped 1.9 percent on report that it canceled at least 30 percent of its scheduled flights on Sunday.

By Shreyashi Sanyal




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