Stock futures rise as investors wait for key inflation report
Commuters exit a Wall Street subway station near the New York Stock Exchange.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Futures contracts linked to major U.S. stock indexes rose during Wednesday night’s overnight session as investors scrutinized a key inflation report expected on Thursday.
Dow futures rose 42 points, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 contracts were mostly stable.
US markets continued to trade within a narrow range on Wednesday, with all three major indices ending the day within 0.5% of Tuesday’s closing levels. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all fell during regular trading, ending the session further away from their respective all-time highs.
The S&P 500 remains closest to its benchmark and is just 0.44% off a new all-time high. The Dow Jones and the Nasdaq are about 2% off the record.
The after-hours session saw the stock of video game retailer GameStop drop 10% in extended trading despite the company’s announcement that it had chosen former Amazon executive Matt Furlong to be its next CEO. Investors may be dismayed by a request for information from the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as a filing with the regulator to sell up to 5 million additional shares.
Other topics in the recent meme trade, including clean energy fuels and clover health, were also rolling in the extended session.
Investors are awaiting the next inflation reading to assess whether the higher price pressures are only temporary as the economy continues to rebound from the pandemic-induced recession.
The Labor Department is expected to release its Consumer Price Index data Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the May CPI report to show prices up 4.7% year-on-year after the 4.2% increase in April.
For weeks, investors wondered whether a surge in inflation might prompt the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its asset purchases or start signaling an increase in interest rates. Still, some say these fears are premature and that the central bank will give markets enough time before taking action.
“We believe the Fed’s easy money policies will last for some time,” wrote Scott Wren, senior global markets strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
“We don’t expect the Fed to hike interest rates this year or next, but we think it’s likely our central bankers are starting to suggest they are considering cutting back on their purchases of ‘obligations, perhaps as early as this fall, ”he added. “This means that we continue to lean towards cyclical sectors sensitive to the ebb and flow of the economy.”