U.S. Stocks May See Further Downside Following FedEx Warning

After coming under pressure over the course of the previous session, stocks are likely to see further downside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing a sharply lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 310 points.

A steep drop by shares of FedEx (FDX) is likely to weigh on the markets, with the delivery giant plunging by more than 20 percent in pre-market trading.

The sell-off by FedEx comes after the company reported weaker than expected preliminary fiscal first quarter results and withdrew its full-year guidance.

FedEx cited global volume softness and expectations for a continued volatile operating environment and warned it expects business conditions to further weaken in the second quarter.

The warning from FedEx has added to concerns about the outlook for the global economy amid monetary policy tightening by central banks around the world.

Concerns about the outlook for interest rates are also likely to weigh on the markets ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision next week.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points, although some see an outside chance for a 100 basis point rate hike.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicates an 80.0 percent chance of a 75 basis point rate hike and a 20.0 percent chance of a 100 basis point rate hike.

Shortly after the start of trading, The University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in the month of September. The consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 60.0 in September from 58.2 in July.

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the session on Thursday before coming under considerable pressure in the latter part of the session. The Dow and the S&P 500 more than offset Wednesday’s gains, falling to their lowest closing levels in two months.

The major averages climbed off their worst lows of the session going into the close but remained firmly negative. The Dow slid 173.27 points or 0.6 percent to 30,961.82, the Nasdaq tumbled 167.32 points or 1.4 percent to 11,552.36 and the S&P 500 slumped 44.66 points or 1.1 percent to 3,901.36.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dove by 1.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index plunged by 2.3 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has dipped by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 1.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.40 to $85.50 a barrel after plunging $3.38 to $85.10 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $31.80 to $1,677.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $5.90 to $1,671.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 143.16 yen versus the 143.52 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $0.9964 compared to yesterday’s $1.0001.

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