• Futures down: Dow 0.78%, S&P 0.75%, Nasdaq 0.89%

Feb 21 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday as fears that interest rates will remain higher for longer gripped traders returning from a long weekend, while disappointing results from Home Depot added to the gloomy mood.

The No. 1 U.S. home improvement chain (HD.N) dropped 3.8% in premarket trading after its fourth-quarter comparable sales fell short of estimates on higher supply-chain costs and weak demand due to inflation.

Investors will be focusing on retail giant Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) results due later in the day.

At 6:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 264 points, or 0.78%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 30.75 points, or 0.75%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 110.25 points, or 0.89%.

The U.S. stock market got a lift this year from its worst annual showing in more than a decade in 2022, as investors were hopeful that the central bank’s rate hiking cycle was nearing its end.

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However, recent economic data points to a resilient economy with inflation far from the Fed’s 2% target, raising bets for two or three more 25 basis point hikes and lower chances of rate cuts at year-end.

Money market participants see the benchmark level peaking to a 5.3% in July, and staying near those levels throughout the year.

Yield on the U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note edged higher, in turn pressuring rate-sensitive growth stocks.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Google-parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) fell between 1% and 1.4% in premarket trading as yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed.

Traders find government bonds as a safe alternative to investments in riskier assets like megacap firms.

In a bright spot, Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) added 2.0% after the Facebook parent said it is testing a monthly subscription service called Meta Verified, which will let users verify their accounts using a government ID and get a blue badge.

Reporting by Johann M Cherian and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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