Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stocks set for higher open as Wall Street tries for another rebound
- Powell is back on Capitol Hill after saying a recession is possible
- United plans to temporarily cut flights departing Newark airport
- Big Oil summoned to the White House for an emergency gas prices meeting
- Russia's currency jumps to 7-year highs, just months after collapsing
U.S. stock futures rose Thursday after an attempt at a rebound fizzled the day before, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all edging lower at the close. For all of last week, the S&P 500 saw its worst weekly performance since March 2020, the month the Covid pandemic was declared. Growing concern on Wall Street about a recession as a result of the Federal Reserve's stepped-up fight against inflation has been gutting stocks, with the S&P 500 confirming earlier this month that a bear market began in early January.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell goes back to Capitol Hill on Thursday for Day Two of his semiannual testimony on monetary policy. He appears before the House Financial Services Committee, one day after telling the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday that the central bank has the "resolve" to tame inflation that's surged to 40-year highs. Powell also told senators Wednesday that he believes the economy is strong now but acknowledged a recession could happen.
- Money fleeing stocks due to recession fears has been piling into bonds recently, pushing prices up and yields down. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped Thursday to just over 3.1%, its lowest level in nearly two weeks. The benchmark yield topped 2011 highs near 3.5% last week after the Fed's biggest interest rate hike since 1994 and an initial pop in stocks.
United Airlines will announce Thursday a temporary reduction of about 50 daily domestic departures from its Newark, New Jersey, airport hub, starting July 1, to address congestion and as concerns mount over cancellations. The summer cuts represent 12% of United's 425 daily flights at Newark, one of the three major airports near New York City. The airline told Reuters the changes won't result in the carrier exiting any markets. Meanwhile, American Airlines plans to drop service to four U.S. cities in September, including Dubuque, Iowa, which will lose scheduled commercial air service altogether.
Major U.S. oil refiners will meet with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other Biden administration officials Thursday about how to lower record-high gas prices squeezing American consumers. The emergency meeting comes one day after President Joe Biden called for a federal gas tax holiday that seemed dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. The gathering also follows weeks of Biden bashing Big Oil for reaping huge profits from a fuel supply crunch exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's ruble rose to its strongest levels since May 2015, with 53.4 rubles buying $1 on Thursday, an increase of roughly 2% from the previous session. That's a world away from the Russian currency's plunge to 139 to the dollar in early March, when the U.S. and European Union started rolling out unprecedented sanctions on Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin pointed to the ruble's stunning surge recently as "proof" that Western sanctions aren't working.