Market Snapshot: Dow futures drop over 300 points as selling gathers pace after Fed minutes


U.S. stock futures slumped on Thursday, a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee indicated its bond buying program was on its last legs.

What’s happening

* Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 327 points;

* Futures on the S&P 500

lost 0.9%;

* Futures on the Nasdaq 100

retreated by 0.8%.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks suffered their worst single session in a month. The Dow

fell 382 points, the S&P 500

lost 1.1% and the Nasdaq Composite

fell 0.9%.

What’s driving markets

Investors continued to be rattled by the release of the Fed minutes, even though its message — that tapering will start this year — was well choreographed in speeches and articles citing insiders ahead of the release.

“While the formula provided could in principle be consistent with a taper decision in September (particularly given the strong July employment report that came after the FOMC meeting), the overall tone of the debate – including multiple references to the delta variant – seem more consistent with a more methodical approach in which the Fed provides a clear signal in September that a taper decision is coming in November. That was and remains our call,” said economists at Evercore ISI.

Also noteworthy was a U.K. study, from the University of Oxford based on real-world data, that showed diminished effectiveness from coronavirus vaccines to the delta variant. After four to five months, the study found that two doses of the vaccine from Pfizer

and BioNTech

was as effective as two Oxford-AstraZeneca


Robinhood Markets

was set to retreat after the online broker’s cautious outlook on the third quarter.

Other markets

The selling was particularly intense in Europe, where miners dived nearly 5% to send the Stoxx Europe 600

down by 2%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury

fell to 1.22%.

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