Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Wednesday

Le Dow Jones a gagné 0,11%, soit 19,46 points, à 17.573,93 à la clôture vendredi, des chiffres susceptibles de varier encore légèrement. /Photo prise le 7 novembre 2014/REUTERS/Lucas Jackson – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, July 9:

1. Fed’s Powell to testify before Congress

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be the focus of attention as he delivers his semiannual monetary policy report to Congress at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT) Tuesday.

The testimony will allow Powell the opportunity to express his outlook on the future path of interest rates with less than three weeks to go before the next policy decision.

Although markets still price in a 25 basis point cut at the end of July policy meeting, a strong reading of the U.S. labor market from the monthly jobs report released last Friday has led investors to scale back expectations for more aggressive easing.

Fed funds futures no longer predict a larger half-point cut at the end of July and the implied odds for a total of three decreases in the remainder of the year have steadily decreased to below 50%.

2. Global stocks show caution ahead of Powell testimony

Global stocks traded lower on Wednesday amid uncertainty over what guidance Powell will give for U.S. monetary policy.

U.S. futures pointed to a slightly lower open. Dow futures fell 58 points, or 0.2%, by 5:52 AM ET (9:52 GMT), S&P 500 futures lost 7 points, or 0.2%, while Nasdaq 100 futures traded down 23 points, or 0.3%.

European and Asian stock markets registered similar losses, while the U.S. dollar traded flat against major rivals, waiting for direction.

3. Oracle may derail Amazon’s favored status in $10 billion defense contract

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) may be losing its edge in a race with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for the right to build the U.S. military’s first “war cloud” – a contract that could be worth $10 billion, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was seen as the clear favorite when the Defense Department laid out its needs back in 2017, but AP suggested that allegations by another bidder, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), that the Pentagon has unfairly favored Amazon may throw a wrench in the works.

Although Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) was, along with IBM (NYSE:IBM), removed from the list of candidates in an earlier round, the company’s court hearing is scheduled to start Wednesday, giving it a final chance to make its case against Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

4. Oil prices jump ahead of EIA inventory data

Oil prices jumped more than 1% in early morning trade on Wednesday, after The American Petroleum Institute reported an enormous crude oil inventory draw of 8.13 million barrels for the week ending July 4.

Markets await the official government data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that will be released at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT) Wednesday.

Forecasts point to a draw of 3.08 million barrels, in what, if confirmed, would be a fourth straight weekly drop, extending a bullish – if largely seasonal – trend on inventories.

5. BoC expected to hold, Mexican finance minister resigns

Although Powell will steal the market spotlight on Wednesday, financial headlines in America’s neighbors Canada and Mexico could also sway the dollar.

The Bank of Canada is expected to leave interest rates unchanged and raise its forecast for economic growth, in what would be a marked contrast to peers such as the Fed, European Central Bank or Reserve Bank of Australia.

On the U.S. southern border, Mexico’s finance minister, Carlos Urzúa, quit abruptly on Tuesday, sending a scathing resignation letter that talked of “discrepancies in economic matters” and criticized policy decisions that were made without sufficient economic evidence. The Mexican peso continued to slide on Wednesday amid worry over the impact.