Stock futures, oil prices decline after China data disappoints

U.S. stock futures traded lower on Monday, with equities resuming a downward slide as concerns over the growth outlook persisted amid elevated inflation.

Contracts on the S&P 500 declined by about 0.3% ahead of the opening bell. Nasdaq futures dropped 0.5%, as mega-cap technology companies including Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) each headed for lower opens. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded little changed to slightly lower.

U.S. crude oil prices (CL=F) declined for the first time in four sessions after new economic data from China came in weaker-than-expected, as the latest wave of virus-related restrictions in the country curbed mobility. China’s retail sales dropped by 11.1% in April over last year, marking the worst decline since March 2020, while industrial production unexpectedly dropped by 2.9% compared to the same month last year.

The move lower in risk assets on Monday extended a recent stretch of volatility across markets. Stocks closed out last week with a sixth consecutive weekly loss, bringing the S&P 500 a total of 16.1% below its record high from Jan. 3. This has come, in turn, as investors weighed the risks of a deeper economic downturn as the Federal Reserve looks to curb inflation running near its hottest level in four decades, geopolitical turmoil continues in Ukraine, and China grapples with its largest COVID outbreak since 2020.

And amid these concerns, Wall Street analysts have struck a more cautious tone on stocks. Goldman Sachs slashed its year-end price target on the S&P 500 to 4,300 from 4,700 in a new note. The lowered target reflects “higher interest rates and slower economic growth than we previously assumed,” according to David Kostin, Goldman Sachs chief U.S. equity strategist. And in a recession scenario, Kostin added, the S&P 500 would likely fall even further to 3,600.

Other strategists also underscored the plethora of current risks to equities, and cautioned against reading too deeply into one-day bounces.

“We think the turning point is really an open question at this juncture. We’re probably between what we would call two repricings: Repricing one is the Federal Reserve-induced repricing,” Eric Freedman, U.S. Bank Asset Management chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance Live. “When the Fed says they’re going to raise rates, every other asset class has to move down in price and up in yield. So we’re really in the middle of that. There could be a turning point there, depending on what the Fed decides to do in terms of communications.”

“But the next repricing — again, the risk of potential more downside — is if we start to see higher commodity costs as well as higher borrowing costs structurally trickle into the real economy and stay there for some time,” he added. “So do think that we’re in a deeply oversold condition … but we would still be a bit on the cautious side right now thinking that there’s more potential downside ahead.”

7:45 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures resume declines

Here’s where markets were trading ahead of the opening bell Monday morning:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): -9.75 points (-0.24%) to 4,010.00

  • Dow futures (YM=F): -26 points (-0.08%) to 32,094.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): -42.50 points (-0.34%) to 12,340.25

  • Crude (CL=F): -$1.07 (-0.97%) to $109.42 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$5.10 (-0.28%) to $1,803.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.4 bps to yield 2.919%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 12: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 12, 2022 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell in morning trading as investors continue to worry about inflation and other global issues. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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