Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, September 28, 2023.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Stock futures were slightly higher Thursday evening as investors prepared to end a difficult September.
During Thursday’s regular trading, stocks closed slightly higher. The S&P 500 added 0.59%, while the Dow ticked up by 0.35%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.83%. The gains came as the 10-year Treasury yield backed off from a fresh 15-year high.
However, the day’s action did little to mitigate equities’ sharp losses for the month and the quarter.
The S&P 500 is set to finish the month down 4.6% and the quarter lower by 3.4%. The Nasdaq Composite is off nearly 6% in September, and down 4.3% for the quarter. This month will be the worst in 2023 for both indexes. The Dow is on track for a 3% decline this month and a 2.2% fall for the quarter.
The major averages are also on pace for modest losses on the week: The S&P 500 is off about 0.5%, while the Dow is down 0.9%. The Nasdaq is off 0.1%.
Investors are now turning their attention to the latest personal consumption expenditures price index reading due Friday. The PCE reading is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation metric. Economists expect that the core PCE advanced 3.9% year over year in August and gained 0.2% on a monthly basis, according to Dow Jones.
Personal income and consumer spending data are also due.
“The consumer is much weaker than initially thought as economic momentum slows,” LPL Financial’s chief economist Jeffrey Roach wrote in a Thursday note.
“Investors should expect further slowing in the final quarter of 2023 and businesses would do well to prepare for a period when the consumer will retrench and become a bit more cautious on spending,” he said.