Stock futures are little changed after a strong Monday surge, Powell testimony ahead

U.S. stock futures were mostly flat early Tuesday ahead of the final trading day of a volatile month for markets.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 68 points lower, or 0.3% and implied a loss of 34 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures traded just below the flatline. 

Shares of Wells Fargo ticked 1.2% lower in the premarket after the bank said Monday it would likely slash its dividend in the third quarter to comply with the Federal Reserve stress test. Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs said their dividends would stay the same

Shares of chip stock Micron jumped 5.3% following the company’s better-than-expected earnings report. Micron gave strong forward revenue guidance. Shares of Lululemon gained 4% on news it will acquire at-home fitness company Mirror for $500 million. 

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The joint hearing will address the Fed and Treasury’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In remarks he will deliver Tuesday, Powell said uncertainty reigns over the outlook for the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Output and employment remain far below their pre-pandemic levels. The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain and will depend in large part on our success in containing the virus,” Powell said. “A full recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities. “The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed,” Powell added. 

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index will be released at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting a read of 91 in June, up from May’s reading of 86.6. 

On Monday, the Dow climbed 580 points, helped by a 14.4% gain in Boeing’s stock, as certification flights for the Boeing 737 Max began Monday. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 1.5%. Monday’s gains brought the 500-stock index into positive territory for the volatile month of June.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.2%, helped by gains in Netflix, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple. 

“It wasn’t a day where the sole driving force was simply rising expectations of continued economic improvement because the best five sector performances [Monday] comprised two cyclical sectors — industrials and materials— a growth sector— communication services —  and two defensive sectors — utilities and staples,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, told CNBC. Monday “was characterized by broad participation in a strong rally.”

Monday’s sharp gains came amid a backdrop of increasing coronavirus cases in the U.S. and states attempt to reopen from the shutdown. U.S. governors are walking back or delaying reopening plans as Covid-19 cases climb around the country. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state will delay a resumption of indoor dining that was planned for Thursday

Despite the recent uptick in cases, stocks are headed for a month of gains in June. The Dow is up 0.8% and the S&P 500 is up 0.3% in June. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite has returned more than 4% this month.\

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