US futures slip in cautious countdown to PCE print

US stock futures retreated on Wednesday, coming off a mixed close as caution prevailed ahead of a crucial inflation report that will guide expectations for interest rate cuts.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and on the S&P 500 (^GSPC) both sagged 0.4%, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) led declines with a roughly 0.5% drop.

Stocks have struggled in February’s final days as fresh economic data helped bring a market boosted by AI euphoria back to the reality of high-for-longer interest rates. Investors have spent this week counting down to the PCE inflation reading on Thursday, seen as key in determining how quickly the Federal Reserve will start making rate cuts.

In the meantime, a report on fourth quarter GDP is on the docket Wednesday, along with readings on mortgage applications and personal consumption.

In other asset markets, bitcoin (BTC-USD) continued its roaring rally, breaking above $59,000 early Wednesday to come within striking distance of a fresh all-time high. The arrival of spot bitcoin ETFs have helped the cryptocurrency reach levels not seen since late 2021.

Among big movers, shares of Beyond Meat (BYND) soared over 60% in premarket trading after the plant-based meat company’s CEO promised to slash costs in a turnaround bid.

Live1 update

  • Beyond Meat’s stock price goes into the beyond

    To the beyond!

    We are witnessing a wild 55% move higher in Beyond Meat (BYND) shares this morning (was up 100% initially last night) after earnings last night. The company’s ticker page is the hottest on Yahoo Finance as of this writing.

    The plant-based meat company is shaking up its operations (bye-bye jerky products), which may have gotten a few excited about a potential turn for this long-struggling business.

    Anytime you see an outsized move like this in a stock it’s good practice to ask: is there something else going on here?

    In this case of Beyond Meat, as you can see on its Yahoo Finance statistics page it has a massive, massive short position. So, any small dose of perceived good news could be met with the type of fierce short-covering rally we have today.

    Using the pre-market price, the stock is still down 95% from its 2019 record high.

    Before you go, I just talked to Beyond Meat’s founder and CEO Ethan Brown late last week — catch up on the company’s newest initiatives here.

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