S&P 500 Futures’ Two-Year High: Holding the Line with Confidence

On Monday, U.S. stock futures struggled to find firm footing as investors anticipated a busy economic week, highlighted by upcoming events such as the release of consumer prices and the final Federal Reserve meeting of the year.

A glimpse into stock-index futures activity reveals:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES00, -0.04%) slid 0.7 points to 4606.75.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM00, +0.01%) held steady at 36645.
  • Nasdaq 100 futures (NQ00, -0.11%) dropped by 17 points, or 0.1%, closing at 16292.

In Friday’s trading, the Dow industrials (DJIA) gained 130.49 points, or 0.4%, reaching a closing high of 36,247.87, its highest level since Jan. 12, 2022. The S&P 500 (SPX) increased by 0.4%, closing at 4,604.37, achieving its best close since March 29, 2022, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose 0.4% to 14,403.97, marking the highest close since April 4, 2022.

All three major indexes extended their winning streak for a sixth consecutive week.

Key market drivers include

Following a robust jobs report that lifted stocks on Friday, investors are now turning their attention to the last Fed meeting of the year and pivotal inflation data slated for release.

Economists expect that November consumer prices, set to be unveiled on Tuesday, will indicate subdued headline inflation but a robust core reading, excluding food and energy prices. Producer prices are scheduled for Wednesday, and retail sales data is anticipated on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues will announce the outcomes of the two-day meeting, with expectations that the central bank will maintain its key benchmark interest rate within the range of 5.25% to 5.5%.

Peter Iosif, senior research analyst at Noteris, noted that Friday’s robust jobs data could impact Powell’s statements this week, potentially reinforcing the Fed’s hawkish stance and challenging market expectations for an early rate cut.

Additionally, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are set to announce policy decisions on Thursday, while a Bank of Japan decision is anticipated for the following week.

The yen faced a decline against the dollar on Monday, following reports that central bank officials were not in a rush to end a decades-long negative interest rate policy. The yen had rallied the previous week amid growing expectations that officials were leaning in that direction.

Gold prices dipped 0.2% to $2,009.30 an ounce, and crude futures were modestly lower.

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