U.S. stock-index futures pointed to what could be the third-straight losing session for Wall Street on Tuesday, as investors grew wary of equities in the countdown to comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

What are major indexes doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures

YMU19, -0.37%

 fell 106 points, or 04%, to 26,687, while S&P 500 futures

ESU19, -0.37%

 dropped 11.6 points, or 0.4%, to 2,967. Nasdaq-100 futures

NQU19, -0.50%

 dropped 40.5 points, or 0.5%, to 7,760.50.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.43%

fell 115.98 points, or 0.4%, to close at 26,806.14, while the S&P 500 index

SPX, -0.48%

 declined 0.5% to finish at 2,975.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index

COMP, -0.78%

declined 0.8% to end at 8,098.38.

Need to Know: Weaker growth will offset a Fed rate cut — so sell stocks, warns Morgan Stanley

What’s driving the market?

Investors appear less willing to hold stocks and other perceived riskier assets as they wait for two-day testimony before Congress by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell due to start Wednesday. Markets are hoping the central bank’s chief will shed some light on a meeting due later this month, with investors clinging to hopes for a rate cut.

Expectations for interest-rate reductions have been scaled back since last week’s strong June jobs report, though a quarter-point reduction at the Fed’s meeting at the end of the month is still seen by market participants as virtually certain.

“A cut in July will be difficult to dodge given current market pricing but Powell may use the opportunity to manage expectations beyond the meeting,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a note to clients. “How successful he’ll be is another thing as investors don’t appear to want to hear it and may instead continue to apply the pressure going into the September meeting.”

Read: Could the Fed surprise the stock market by skipping a July rate cut? It’s not out of the question

On Tuesday, Powell is scheduled to give opening remarks at a conference at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss recent stress tests for banks. Vice Chairman Randal Quarles will speak at that same conference at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic are also due to make appearances elsewhere Tuesday.

Shares of beverage maker PepsiCo Inc.

PEP, -0.35%

 were up 0.5% in premarket action after reporting second-quarter results that topped expectations and affirming its full-year outlook.

How are other markets trading?

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note has edged up to 2.064%.

In Asia, stocks struggled, and the Hang Seng

HSI, -0.76%

 led decliners with a drop of 0.7%. European stocks

SXXP, -0.55%

 were under pressure, led by a 1.3% drop for the German DAX 30 index

DAX, -1.00%

 

In commodities markets, oil prices moved higher, while gold prices

GCQ19, -0.61%

fell 0.7%. The U.S. dollar

DXY, +0.12%

was higher, notably against the British pound

GBPUSD, -0.3834%

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2019-07-09