S&P 500 Futures Display Cautionary Growth Before Crucial Inflation Announcement

At the start of Tuesday, stock futures were slightly stronger in the United States. Traders were being careful and uncertain about making large investments because of the upcoming October CPI report, which could impact the Federal Reserve’s future decisions.

How are stock-index futures trading

  • The value of the S&P 500 futures, symbolized by ES00, rose by 8 points or 0.2%, reaching a level of 4433.
  • The futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, represented by YM00, rose by 40 points, equivalent to 0.1%, and reached a final value of 34425.
  • The Nasdaq 100 futures, with the ticker symbol NQ00, rose by 43 points or 0.3% to achieve a level of 15590.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 55 points, equivalent to a 0.16% increase, reaching a total of 34,338. In contrast, the S&P 500 saw a decline of 4 points, resulting in a 0.08% decrease, bringing it down to 4,412. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 30 points, reflecting a 0.22% decrease, resulting in a closing value of 13,768.

What’s driving markets

Investors are approaching their trading activity with caution as they are reluctant to make risky decisions until the U.S. inflation data is released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

After a minor decline of less than 0.1% in the S&P 500 on Monday, the stock futures show minimal fluctuations as the new trading session begins. The value of the US dollar remains fairly steady, and there has been a slight drop in Treasury yields by a few basis points.

According to Jim Reid, who works as an analyst at Deutsche Bank, the markets have been quite dull recently, with very little happening in the bond and equity sectors. Investors are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the U.S. CPI data.

Investors are growing more hopeful about the Federal Reserve’s decision to no longer raise interest rates, as the rate of inflation has declined this year. This optimism has caused a surge in bond markets, leading to a notable decrease in implied borrowing costs, which were at their highest levels in 16 years. Consequently, major stock indices have risen, with the S&P 500 experiencing a 14.9% increase in 2023.

Hence, individuals who hold a positive outlook on the stock market would desire concrete proof of this narrative within the inflation report.

The expectation is that the consumer price index will show a 3.3% increase compared to October of the previous year, which is a slower rate of growth compared to the 3.7% recorded in September. This decrease can be attributed to lower energy prices, which may result in a smaller month-on-month increase of 0.1%, rather than 0.4%.

However, it is expected that the fundamental measurements, which do not take into account unpredictable elements like food and energy, will stay steady, with an annual rise of 4.1% and a monthly measurement of 0.3%, the same as recorded in September.

According to Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, if the inflation rate aligns with or falls below projections, it will reinforce the understanding that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates. Instead, it will raise the likelihood of rate reductions for the upcoming year.

According to current market rates, there is a 14% chance that the central bank will increase interest rates by 25 basis points during its December meeting, resulting in a new range of 5.50% to 5.75%.

According to Reid from Deutsche, if these forecasts are correct, it would mark the third consecutive month where core CPI rises by at least 0.3%. This contradicts the Federal Reserve’s objective of sustaining 2% yearly inflation, thus it is very probable that the Fed would attempt to impose stricter measures once more.

On Tuesday, multiple Federal Reserve officials will give statements. Thomas Barkin, the President of the Richmond Fed, will discuss the economic outlook at 8:30 a.m. Michael Barr, the Vice Chair for Supervision, will testify to a Senate panel at 10 a.m. Finally, Austan Goolsbee, the President of the Chicago Fed, will speak about the economic and policy outlook at 12:45 p.m.

The main event on Tuesday is the announcement of Home Depot’s financial performance, which is set to be revealed before the start of trading on Wall Street.

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