Stock futures soften ahead of CPI report
Stock futures in the US are trading lower on Wednesday as investors prepare for the release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for April. The report is expected to shed light on whether inflationary pressures are still weighing on the economy, and how the Federal Reserve might respond.
The S&P 500 futures have dipped 8 points, or 0.2%, to 4,126, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures have fallen 59 points, or 0.2%, to 33,578. The Nasdaq 100 futures have eased 43 points, or 0.3%, to 13,223. These moves come after a down day for the markets on Tuesday, with the Dow falling 57 points, the S&P 500 declining 19 points, and the Nasdaq Composite dropping 77 points.
What’s Driving Markets
Traders are hesitant to make big moves ahead of the CPI report, which is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The report is expected to show the headline annual rate of CPI inflation staying steady at 5%, but for core inflation (which excludes volatile items like food and energy) to dip from 5.6% to 5.5%. This information will be crucial for central bank policymakers as they consider whether to press pause on rate hikes in June.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, notes that the CPI report is a “big piece of the puzzle” for policymakers, and investors will be watching closely. However, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, warns that markets may be vulnerable to disappointment, given current expectations.
Company Earnings Reports
On Wednesday, several companies are set to release earnings reports, including Roblox, Wendy’s, and Icahn Enterprises before the opening bell, and Walt Disney, Robinhood Markets, and Beyond Meat after the close.
Overall, the stock market is bracing for the impact of the CPI report, with investors cautiously watching for signs of inflationary pressure. The report could have significant implications for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy and the future direction of the market.