Traders operate on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on September 21, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Stock futures rose overnight on Thursday after the S&P 500 recorded its worst month since March 2020.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 40 points. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.2%.
The market has just ended a turbulent September when fears of inflation, slower growth and rising interest rates arose. The S&P 500 ended the month down 4.8%, breaking a seven month winning streak. The Dow and Nasdaq Composite were down 4.3% and 5.3%, respectively, and had their worst months of the year.
"A combination of slowing growth, less responsive monetary policy, China's headwinds, weakening fiscal stimulus and gnawing supply chain bottlenecks have come together to weigh on investor sentiment in the fall and fourth quarter of 21," said Chris Hussey, managing director at Goldman Sachs, said in a note.
Ten of the eleven S&P 500 sectors suffered losses in September, leading to a downward trend due to a monthly decline in commodity stocks of 7.4%. With an increase of over 9%, energy is the best performer of the month.
The S&P is now 5.2% below its all-time high in early September. The broad equity benchmark is still almost 15% higher than last year.
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Investors expect key inflation data on Friday to gauge the state of price pressures as the economy recovers from the pandemic. The core consumer spending index, the measure of inflation the Federal Reserve uses to set policy, will rise 0.2% in August and 3.5% year-over-year, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.
The inflation indicator rose by 3.6% year-on-year in July and reached its highest level since May 1991.
"As we close the third quarter and look ahead, investors will likely need to stay nimble as the economic recovery zigzagged," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial.
Congress was ready to prevent the government from closing on Thursday. The Senate and House of Representatives both passed a short-term funds bill that would keep the government going through December 3, and sent it to President Joe Biden for signature.