U.S. stock index futures fell slightly in evening deals on Wednesday after hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller saw markets run out of steam, following a strong session on Wall Street.

Anticipation of a final reading on U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product, due later on Thursday, also factored into market caution. After that, key inflation data and addresses from other Fed officials are due on Friday.

Overall trading volumes were somewhat muted ahead of the Good Friday holiday.

S&P 500 Futures fell 0.1% to 5,304.75 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures fell 0.1% to 18,485.75 points by 19:16 ET (23:16 GMT). Dow Jones Futures fell 0.1% to 40,119.0 points.

Waller says no hurry to trim rates
Speaking at an Economic Club of New York gathering, Waller said there was no hurry for the Fed to cut interest rates now, citing a slew of hotter-than-expected inflation readings in recent months.

While Waller said that the central bank will eventually cut interest rates this year, current resilience in the U.S. economy gave the Fed substantial headroom to keep rates higher for longer.

His comments contrasted a somewhat dovish outlook from the Fed last week, where the central bank signaled that it still saw about 75 basis points of rate cuts in 2024. This had triggered a rally on Wall Street last week, with U.S. stock indexes now sitting in sight of record highs.

Wall St snaps three days of losses, S&P 500 hits record high
Wall Street indexes rose sharply on Wednesday, rebounding after three days of losses as a drop in bond yields help spur strong gains in utility stocks.

The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to finish at a record high of 5,248.49 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average led gains among its peers with a 1.2% jump, but still closed shy of record highs at 39,760.08 points. The Dow was boosted chiefly by gains in pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), which hit a record high after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug to treat a rare lung illness.

The NASDAQ Composite somewhat lagged its peers, rising 0.5% to 16,399.52 points. Gains on the index were held back chiefly by sustained losses in artificial intelligence darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), as traders continued to lock in profits after a stellar melt-up in the stock over the past year.

Nvidia fell 0.3% in aftermarket trade after sliding nearly 7% from a near record-high peak hit earlier this week.

PCE data, Fed speakers awaited
Markets were now awaiting more cues on inflation from PCE price index data- which is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge. The data is due on Friday, when markets will be closed, but is largely expected to factor into the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

Along with the PCE data, addresses from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and FOMC member Mary Daly are also due on Friday.

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