E-Mini S&P 500 Futures Market News and Commentary
The S&P 500 ($SPX) on Thursday closed up +10.69 (+0.36%), the Dow Jones Industrials index ($DOWI) closed up +3.12 (+0.01%), and the Nasdaq 100 Index ($IUXX) closed up +15.37 (+0.19%). Key U.S. stock indexes settled higher Thursday on the outlook for a Fed rate cut later this month. New York Fed President Williams said Thursday "when you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress." The dovish comments from Williams, an FOMC voter, suggest he will support at least a 25 bp rate cut at the July 30-31 FOMC meeting. Comments on Thursday afternoon from Fed Vice Chair Clarida echoed New York Fed President Williams' comments when Clarida said the Fed shouldn't wait for the economy to falter before cutting interest rates in an effort to "keep the economy on an even keel." Losses in technology stocks were a negative factor for the overall market on Thursday after Netflix plunged -10% to a 6-month low when the company late Wednesday reported that it had Q2 paid net customers of only 2.70 million, well below consensus of 5.06 million due to recent price increases. Energy stocks were weaker as well as crude oil prices slid more than -2% to a 4-week low on Thursday. Thursday's U.S. economic data was mixed after the July Philadelphia Fed business outlook index jumped by +21.5 points to a 1-year high of 21.8, stronger than expectations of +4.7 to 5.0. However, June leading indicators unexpectedly fell -0.3%, weaker than expectations of +0.1% and the biggest decline in nearly 3-1/2 years. The VIX volatility index ($VIX) jumped to a 1-week high Thursday at 14.50%, but then fell back and settled down -0.44 at 13.53%. The VIX remains moderately above the 2-3/4 month low of 12.04% (July 5) and April's 11-month low of 11.03%.