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US Futures Fall as Midterms Return Mixed Verdict: Markets Wrap

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US Futures Fall as Midterms Return Mixed Verdict: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — US equity-index futures fell as midterm elections threw up a mixed verdict, challenging expectations for a Republican sweep and a Congress gridlock.

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December contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 indexes retreated at least 0.3% each, a day after US stocks capped a three-day rally. Europe’s equity benchmark extended losses. A selloff in cryptocurrencies deepened, sending Bitcoin toward the biggest four-day slump since June. Treasuries fell and the dollar erased losses. Oil slid on a sluggish demand outlook from China.

Equity and bond investors have been hoping for a Republican comeback in Congress, with the best outcome seen as GOP control of both the House of Representatives and Senate. Dollar bulls, on the other hand, sought Democratic control continuing in both chambers. Trends so far suggest a mixed verdict, leaving little room for a rally or decisive selloff.

“The Republican aim of controlling both houses hangs by a thread,” Chris Beauchamp, the chief markets analyst at IG Group in London, wrote in a note. “A divided House might mean the partisan battles over spending and the debt ceiling are not quite as dramatic or vitriolic, but this is unlikely to brighten the policy outlook markedly. Instead, the focus will likely return to the Federal Reserve and the US economy.”

Republicans made gains in their drive to take control of Congress but many of the closest races had yet to be called. The final outcome may not be known for days or even weeks if the results are as close as polls have suggested and if losers challenge results.

Optimism for shares has been helped by a history of robust performance following midterm results. Stocks have tended to flourish during times when government is constrained and polls suggest Republicans could make gains, placing a check on Democratic policies.

Treasuries fell across the curve, with the 10-year yield adding 2 basis points. Sovereign bonds in Europe trimmed their gains.

Shares of Chinese developers jumped the most in eight months as a regulator expanded financing support for the sector, bucking weakness in broader indexes in Hong Kong and the mainland.

Cryptocurrencies slipped further as Binance Holdings Ltd.’s potential takeover of embattled rival exchange highlighted how strains in the digital-asset industry are buffeting some of its top players. Bitcoin traded 5.5% lower to trade below $17,700 apiece.

Thursday’s consumer-price-index data may be the next event risk for the Fed’s policy rate and comes on the heels of core consumer prices rising more than forecast to a 40-year high in September. Even if prices begin to moderate, the CPI is far above the central bank’s comfort zone.

“The market is still going to fixate on inflation, which is going to stay high and sticky at least over the next couple of quarters,” Luke Barrs, global head of fundamental equity client portfolio management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television.

Key events this week:

EIA oil inventory report, Wednesday

US wholesale inventories, MBA mortgage applications, Wednesday

Fed officials John Williams, Tom Barkin speak at events, Wednesday

US CPI, US initial jobless claims, Thursday

Fed officials Lorie Logan, Esther George, Loretta Mester speak at events, Thursday

US University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.7% as of 9:52 a.m. London time

Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.4%

Futures on the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3%

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.4%


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed

The euro fell 0.1% to $1.0063

The Japanese yen was little changed at 145.70 per dollar

The offshore yuan fell 0.2% to 7.2478 per dollar

The British pound fell 0.6% to $1.1470


Bitcoin fell 5.5% to $17,664.44

Ether fell 9.6% to $1,208.05


The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced two basis points to 4.14%

Germany’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 2.25%

Britain’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 3.57%


Brent crude fell 0.5% to $94.88 a barrel

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,710.08 an ounce

–With assistance from Vildana Hajric and Muyao Shen.

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©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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