US futures slumped slightly Sunday, building on the turbulence spurred in part last week by the GameStop stock frenzy.
S&P 500 futures were last down 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures slumped 0.2%. Dow futures were flat, improving from a 0.8% tumble earlier in the evening.
US markets are coming off of their worst week since October. The volatility hinged on a handful of trends, including fears from analysts about whether the massive short-squeeze in GameStop and other Reddit favorites are beginning to curtail liquidity in other parts of the market as investors unwind positions.
There are other factors, too. Earnings season is in full swing. There are also questions about whether President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package can actually get passed, along with uncertainty over the coronavirus vaccine rollout.
The declines in US futures didn’t carry over into Asia, where most major regional benchmarks moved higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.5%, while South Korea’s Kospi also rose 1.5%. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.9% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8%.
China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.1%. The country’s manufacturing activity expanded in January, a closely watched private survey showed Monday — albeit at the slowest pace in seven months. Recent survey data from the Chinese government showed similar slow growth in manufacturing and services activity. It’s a sign that recent coronavirus outbreaks in the country may be hampering the recovery of the world’s second largest economy, though not by enough to derail it entirely.
Silver producers, meanwhile, jumped in Asia as futures for the precious metal surged to touch five-month highs. China Silver Group soared nearly 30% in Hong Kong, for example. Chinese silver futures also jumped nearly 9% in Shanghai.
— Anneken Tappe contributed to this report.