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U.S. Stock Futures Little Changed as Investors Await CPI Data

U.S. stock futures were little changed Tuesday night as investors looked toward the release of the consumer price index for more insights on inflation.

Futures Performance

  • Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched lower by 6 points, or 0.02%.
  • S&P 500 futures lost 0.02%.
  • Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 0.04%.

Tuesday’s Market Performance

The major averages all posted losses during Tuesday’s main trading session. The Nasdaq Composite was particularly hard-hit, declining 1% as tech names came under pressure. The S&P 500 fell nearly 0.6%, while the Dow ticked down less than 0.1%. Apple slipped 1.7%, weighing on the indexes, while Oracle notched its worst day in more than 20 years on the back of disappointing revenue and soft guidance.

Focus on August CPI Report

Wall Street’s focus is now turning toward the August CPI report, due Wednesday morning. Economists are estimating a 3.6% year-over-year rise in inflation, according to Dow Jones. This would mark an increase from the prior month’s reading of 3.2%. Core CPI, which omits food and energy costs due to volatility, is forecasted to have risen 4.3% in August, compared to a 4.7% gain in July.

Market Expectations

Wall Street has mostly priced in a pause in rate hikes at the Fed’s next meeting. Fed funds futures pricing data indicate a 93% probability of rates remaining the same as of Tuesday evening, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. A particular focus will be put on inflation in the services segment of the economy, according to Matt Stucky, senior portfolio manager at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.

Impact of Inflation on the Economy

“The market’s essentially pricing in an end to rate hikes from here on out. If there’s a higher-than-expected number, it kind of reaffirms the narrative that wage inflation is driving structural inflation in the overall economy,” Stucky said.

There is currently a notable gap between where the central bank is comfortable with wage growth and the current level of inflation in the labor markets, he said. “So those are all kind of pieces that the market is going to try and figure out tomorrow,” Stucky added.

Correction: An earlier version misstated the day Adobe reports earnings.

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