NEW YORK, Sept 5 — Wall Street was set to open lower today as investors remained cautious after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test over the weekend.
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of the regime’s stand-off with the United States and its allies.
The United States blamed North Korea’s trading partners yesterday of aiding its nuclear ambitions and the White House declared that “all options to address the North Korean threat are on the table.”
“We see no panic in the market just as yet, it feels like it is the calm before the storm and investors are being somewhat cautious,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
Equity markets have shown resilience to geopolitical events surrounding North Korea of late, with initial losses erased relatively quickly.
Safe-haven gold pulled back from a one-year high in its first drop in four days.
At 8:30am ET (1230 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 72 points, or 0.33 per cent, with 50,579 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 6 points, or 0.24 per cent, with 355,352 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 14.25 points, or 0.24 per cent, on volume of 84,461 contracts.
Futures pared some losses after Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard, an influential policymaker, said US inflation is falling “well short” of target so the central bank should be cautious about raising interest rates any further until it is confident that prices are headed higher.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and his Dallas counterpart, Robert Kaplan, are also slated to speak at different events later in the day.
Wall Street gained modestly on Friday as a tepid US jobs report kept expectations muted for another interest rate hike this year, while investors kicked off a typically dour month for stocks on a positive note.
September is typically the worst month in the year for stocks, with the S&P falling 0.5 per cent on average. This September could be particularly nail-biting as Wall Street may face a rough ride if there is a showdown in Washington over the US budget and the federal debt ceiling.
Economic data in the day includes a report from the Commerce Department that will likely show factory goods orders fell 3.3 per cent in July, compared with a rise of 3.0 per cent in the previous month. The data is due at 10:00am ET.
Shares of United Technologies were down about 3 per cent in premarket trading after the company struck a US$30 billion (RM128 billion) deal to buy avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins. Rockwell shares were up 1.14 per cent.
Insmed shares more than doubled after the company said its drug for the treatment of a rare and serious lung disorder met the main goal in a late-stage study. — Reuters