U.S. stock index futures were modestly lower during overnight trading Wednesday, after the major averages finished the day higher despite escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 28 points. S&P 500 futures shed 0.11%, while Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.2%.
During regular trading on Wednesday the Dow advanced nearly 600 points, or 1.79%, snapping a two-day losing streak. The S&P 500 gained 1.86%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 1.62%. It was the tech-heavy index’s fourth positive session in the last five.
Wednesday’s rally was broad based, with all eleven S&P 500 sectors advancing. Visa was the sole Dow component to decline, with the other 29 stocks in the benchmark index finishing the day in the green. Caterpillar was the top gainer, rising more than 5%.
Markets have been volatile in recent sessions as investors assess risks to the U.S. economy fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“The situation is very fluid on the ground in Ukraine....We don’t know where the ultimate bottom in the market may be, but we continue to believe the U.S. economy will have above-average growth this year,” said Scott Wren, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
Despite Wednesday’s advance all three major averages are down more than 4% over the last month, with the Nasdaq Composite still in correction territory. Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said that volatility is likely here to stay.
“Risk appetite will struggle to fully return until a true end in the war in Ukraine is in sight,” he said. “Wall Street wants to take a break from the defensive playbook and hold off overloading on utilities, healthcare and consumer staples stocks,” Moya added.