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A camp where Thai and Myanmar construction workers reside now under lockdown in Bangkok

AFP via Getty Images

Stocks wavered on Monday, as investors await comments from Federal Reserve members about the direction of interest rates. 

Futures on the  Dow Jones Industrial Average  slipped 15 points, or less than 0.1%, while  S&P 500  futures rose 0.1%, and  Nasdaq Composite  futures advanced 0.3%. 

New York Fed President John Williams is set to speak this morning, with remarks from Fed members Patrick Harker and Randal Quarles coming later in the day. Recently, the market has been sensitive to hawkish commentary—words that make higher interest rates sound more likely—from the Fed. With inflation running hot and the Fed now more likely to lift interest rates ahead of previous expectations, stocks are in a vulnerable position, especially after rallying last week. 

“If their comments are more hawkish than expected it will be a slight headwind on stocks,” writes Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research.

“Many already have their eyes towards upcoming macro data, with this week’s U.S. jobs report due on Friday while the earning season looms around the corner,” said Pierre Veyret, technical analyst at ActivTrades.

Meanwhile, Asian markets edged lower as authorities mounted new restrictions to combat a wave of new coronavirus cases. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1% to pace a modest pullback in the region.

Thailand banned dine-in services for a month, Malaysia extended a lockdown and control orders were imposed in Sydney, Australia.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.1%.

Virgin Galactic Holdings  (ticker: SPCE) stock is up 6.8% after the Federal Aviation Administration granted approval to the company to fly customers into space. 

Toll Brothers  (TOL) stocks gained 1% after getting upgraded to Neutral from Sell at BTIG.

International Paper  (IP) stock rose 0.9% after getting upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens.  (CRM) stock rose 0.8% after Redburn initiated coverage with a Buy rating.  (WIX) stock fell 1% after getting downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. 

Shares of U.K. luxury goods group Burberry slumped 7% after Marco Gobbetti said he would be leaving the company at the end of the year to take the same role at leather goods maker Salvatore Ferragamo in his native Italy. Burberry said it has begun a search for his successor.

Write to Jacob Sonenshine at