© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By Devik Jain
(Reuters) -The Dow was set to open lower on Wednesday as renewed fears about the pace of a post-pandemic recovery dented demand for economically sensitive sectors and sent investors to the perceived safety of technology-related stocks including Apple (NASDAQ:) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:).
Industrials Deere (NYSE:) & Co, Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:), and 3M Co, which generally perform better at a time of strong economic growth, shed between 0.1% and 0.4% in premarket trading.
Bank stocks JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:), Citigroup (NYSE:), Bank of America (NYSE:), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) & Co fell between 0.1% and 0.3%, a day after the marked its worst day in about a month on the back of a bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. retail sales.
After six straight months of gains for the S&P 500, trading on Wall Street’s main indexes has been more volatile in August – a seasonally weak period for financial markets – as concerns about slowing U.S. growth and the spread of the Delta variant took the shine off a solid corporate earnings season.
Focus on Wednesday will be on the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, with investors looking for insight into the central bank’s debate over when to end its pandemic-era emergency programs amid a stronger recovery in the jobs market and higher inflation.
“You have the inflation pressure on one hand, and then you offset some of that with the depression that’s coming through from the Delta variant to some degree. That’s creating some of the gyrations in the market,” said Johan Grahn, head of ETF Strategy at AllianzIM in Minneapolis.
Analysts expect the Fed to announce its plan for a “taper” of its asset purchases as early as its Sept. 21-22 meeting.
At 8:28 a.m. ET, were down 81 points, or 0.23%, were down 5.25 points, or 0.12%, and were down 4.25 points, or 0.03%.
Oil stocks Exxon Mobil (NYSE:), Schlumberger NV (NYSE:) and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:) were up between 0.3% and 1.2%, tracking crude prices higher. [O/R]
The S&P energy index has fallen 4.4% in the past four sessions amid fears of slowing global growth.
Amazon, Apple, Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) and Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc rose between 0.1% and 1.1%.
The stocks had led Wall Street’s recovery from its coronavirus lows last year as investors flocked to names seen to benefit from higher demand during widespread lockdowns.
Lowe’s (NYSE:) Cos Inc jumped 4.3% after it forecast full-year sales above estimates on a rise in spending from builders and handymen getting back to housing projects.
Target Corp (NYSE:), on the other hand, slipped 2% despite beating analysts’ estimates for same-store sales. The retailer’s stock has jumped about 44% year-to-date.
Earnings reports from online brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:), chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ:) Corp, network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:), lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret & Co and Bath & Body Works are due after market close on Wednesday.
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