Stock futures stepped higher on Thursday as investors awaited a crucial consumer inflation report that could factor into whether the Federal Reserve decides to raise or hold interest rates.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures rose roughly 0.3%, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures added 0.4%. Tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) futures were also about 0.4% higher.
The major US stock indexes scored their fourth winning session in a row on Wednesday as investors shrugged off hotter-than-expected wholesale inflation data.
But they are closely focused on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, one of the most important data points for the Fed in making its policy decisions. Consumer inflation is expected to have slowed slightly in the data out Thursday morning.
Any sign the Fed hasn’t been able to contain inflation will be seen as keeping a rate hike in play at policymakers’ meeting in November. An upside surprise in CPI could also easily derail the recent fledgling rally in stocks.
Minutes from the Fed’s last meeting showed most policymakers predict one more interest-rate increase this year — though they still stressed that economic data will steer their decision-making.
Read more: What a Fed rate-hike pause means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards
Eyes are also on the third-quarter earnings season, which gets going Thursday with reports from Delta (DAL) and Walgreens (WBA), then begins in earnest with big bank results Friday. Expectations are for earnings growth to be muted, but some analysts believe that low bar could deliver some surprises.
Oil prices erased their recent drop after a show of unity by Russia and Saudi Arabia, which have committed to extra cuts in crude output. But the market mood remains fragile as Israel builds up forces for an expected ground assault on Gaza. Crude oil futures (CL=F) rose to above $84 a barrel, while Brent crude futures (BZ=F) climbed to trade closer to $87.
Stock futures move higher in wait for CPI update
Stocks were poised to open in the green on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to the release of US consumer inflation data.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) were up 0.33%, or 112 points, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures rose 0.37%. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) were 0.34% higher.
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Barbara Terrio is a seasoned business journalist, delving into the world of finance, startups, and entrepreneurship. With a knack for demystifying complex economic trends, she helps readers navigate the business landscape. Outside of her reporting, Barbara is an advocate for financial literacy and enjoys mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs.