S&P 500 futures turned higher Wednesday morning, coming back from an overnight drop of more than 1.6% after Iran retaliated for the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general. Strong ADP data on December private sector job growth was also providing stock futures support. In the immediate aftermath of Iran's launching of more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq on Tuesday night, Dow futures sank 400 points and international oil prices surged 4%. But like stocks, crude oil prices evened out as the Iranian attacks were less than feared. Oil actually turned negative Wednesday morning.
There are no reports of any U.S. servicemembers being hurt in the Iranian strikes. President Donald Trump responded on Twitter: "All is well!" "Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!" Trump plans to make a statement Wednesday morning.
A Boeing 737-800 passenger jet operated by a Ukrainian airline crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday morning. There were no survivors. Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board. The cause of the crash was not immediately known and could take months to determine. However, state media in Iran reported that the jet went down because of technical problems without providing any more details. The plane is a different model than Boeing's troubled 737 Max.
Dow stock Boeing was down about 1% in premarket trading Wednesday after the Ukrainian airline crash in Iran. The drop in Boeing shares, which has been under sustained pressure since last year's grounding of the 737 Max fleet after two deadly crashes involving those jets, was responsible for about a 20-point drag on Dow futures, which were pointing to a steady open Wednesday on Wall Street.
Private payroll growth ended 2019 on a strong note, with companies adding 202,000 positions in December in another sign of a healthy labor market, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody's Analytics. The total was well above the 150,000 estimate. In addition to a solid December, ADP revised the initial November count of 67,000 up to 124,000. The government issues its monthly employment report Friday. Economists expect the Labor Department's tally to show a gain of 160,000 nonfarm jobs in December.