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Futures fall on growing fears of recession

Kitco News

Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday after warnings of a looming recession from major Wall Street bankers offset optimism around the easing of China's strict zero-COVID rules.

Top executives at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) , JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) said on Tuesday that inflation would erode consumer spending power and a mild to more pronounced recession was likely ahead.

Fears of a recession due to the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive rate hikes to curb inflation pulled the S&P 500 (.SPX) lower for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, with all major Wall Street indexes closing down 1-2%.

Investors see a 91% chance that the Fed will increase its key benchmark rate by 50 basis point in December to 4.25-4.50%, with the rates peaking in May 2023 at 4.97%.

More economic data, including weekly jobless claims, producer price index and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey this week, will be on the watch list for clues on what to expect from the Fed on Dec. 14.

At 6:18 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 36 points, or 0.11%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 8.25 points, or 0.21%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 34.75 points, or 0.3%.

Mega-cap technology and other growth stocks such as Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) dropped between 0.4% and 1.9% in premarket trading.

Concerns around a steep rise in borrowing costs have boosted the dollar and dented demand for risk assets such as equities this year, with the S&P 500 snapping a three-year winning streak and sinking 17.3% so far in 2022.

Elsewhere, China announced the most sweeping changes to its tough anti-COVID regime that included allowing infected people with mild or no symptoms to quarantine at home and dropping testing for domestic traveling, following protests against COVID controls.

However, U.S.-listed Chinese stocks such as NetEase Inc , Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Inc tumbled between 3.4% and 5.7% on profit booking after China's trade shrank the steepest in 2-1/2 years in November.

Among other stocks, GameStop Corp (GME.N) jumped 1.1% ahead of its third-quarter results where it is expected to report a 4.5% rise in revenue.

Boeing Co (BA.N) was down 0.8% after U.S. lawmakers declined to extend an annual defense bill deadline that would impose a new safety standard for modern cockpit alerts for two new versions of the aerospace company's best-selling 737 MAX aircraft.

Reporting by Shubham Batra and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva
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