NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are slightly lower Wednesday, the morning after the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 322 points.
The government reported Wednesday morning that companies placed more orders for aircraft, automobiles and other durable goods rose in July. Orders for longer-lasting goods rose 4 percent in July, the biggest increase since March. Orders had dropped 1.3 percent in June.
After the report came out, stock market futures pared back an earlier slump. Roughly one hour before the opening bell, Dow futures are down 13 points to 11,128. S&P 500 index futures are down 2 points to 1,157. Nasdaq 100 futures are down 2 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,122.
Wild swings have become commonplace this month, with troubling economic reports raising fears that the U.S. could slip into a second recession. The Dow has swung by more than 200 points nine days this month. A flare-up of Europe’s debt crisis and fears of a new U.S. recession have shaken investors.
Even after Tuesday’s rally, the Dow is down 8 percent in August. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the more widely used benchmark for money managers, is down 10 percent, putting it on track for its worst month since August 1998. The Nasdaq is down 11 percent.
Some investors believe the Federal Reserve will announce some kind of help for the economy when it holds its annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday. It was at the same conference a year ago that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made the case for the central bank to buy Treasury bonds with the aim of pushing interest rates lower and spurring new spending. That $600 billion bond-buying effort ended in June.
Markets in east Asia were lower after the rating agency Moody’s lowered Japan’s credit one notch on Wednesday, putting it three levels below the top mark of Aaa. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.1 percent.