U.S. stock futures mixed, with tech pointing to more losses as bond yields stay elevated

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U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed start on Tuesday, with pressure again seen on the technology sector as investors continue to consider what the reappointment of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell may mean for policy tightening.

How are stock-index futures trading?
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.05% were slightly lower at 4,675
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, +0.03% were modestly higher at 35,579
  • Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.28% fell 0.2% to 16,335

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  DJIA, +0.05% rose less than 0.1% to end at 35,619.25, the biggest gain since Nov. 16, based on Dow Jones Market Data. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.32% fell 0.3% to 4,682, after hitting an intraday all-time high at 4,743.83 earlier in the session.

The Nasdaq Composite Index  COMP, -1.26% fell 1.3% to 15,854.76 for its biggest decline since Nov. 10, and retreating from an intraday record at 16,212.23, reached earlier in the day.

What’s driving the market?

Monday’s late-day paring for Wall Street came amid a sense by some investors that Fed Chair Powell — reappointed a second time by President Joe Biden — could tighten policy faster than Lael Brainard, who was appointed Vice Chair but had also been in the running for the top job.

Read: What a Fed led by Powell and Brainard means for Americans’ bank accounts

“Ultimately I don’t see how the Powell-led Fed is more hawkish today than it was last week, but we should always beware linear thinking: even the Fed can adapt and learn from the persistently high inflation,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com, in a note to clients.

“You never know, perhaps the Fed — and the White House — are starting to heed some warnings about what untethered inflation can do. In summary, you could say there has been a whiff of a hawkish tilt at the Fed in recent weeks and the administration is OK with that,” said Wilson.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.635% was hovering at 1.632%, after yields across the board rose at the fastest daily rate in nearly two weeks.

Trading volumes are expected to thin out as Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday nears. Investors will get the flash Markit manufacturing and services purchasing managers indexes for November at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Markets will close Thursday and open a half-day on Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day.

Across other markets, oil prices were under pressure, with West Texas Intermediate crude CL00, -1.25% down more than 1% to $75.70 a barrel, ahead of the possible release of strategic oil reserves by the U.S. administration, which some see as soon as Tuesday. Markets are waiting to see if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies could rethink their own plans to boost production.