U.S. stock-index futures fell, as investors weighed earnings prospects, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s seventh advance in eight days pushed it toward its best week of the year.
S&P 500 E-mini contracts expiring in December lost 0.3 percent to 2,000.25 at 9:21 a.m. in London. The gauge closed at its highest level since Aug. 20 after Federal Reserve minutes showed caution over raising interest rates even as the economy improves. That pushed expectations for a hike further into next year, boosting energy, raw-material and industrial companies. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts lost 48 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,918 today, while those on the Nasdaq 100 Index fell 0.4 percent.
Concerns over a China-led slowdown in international growth and the Fed’s decision last month to not raise borrowing costs jolted investors, with the S&P 500 losing 5.5 percent in the eight days following the meeting. Traders are now pricing in a 39 percent chance of a rate liftoff in December, with a 61 percent probability of a March increase.
Attention has also turned to third-quarter results, with earnings at S&P 500 members projected to fall 6.9 percent. Energy and materials companies will see the steepest drop, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. Alcoa Inc. kicked off the reporting season late Thursday, with sales and profit missing estimates as aluminum prices slumped. The shares slipped 6.3 percent in premarket New York trading.
Some 35 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report results next week, including Johnson & Johnson, Intel Corp. and JPMorgan Chase and Co.