U.S. Stock Futures Listless As Inflation Data Looms

U.S. stock index futures moved little in evening deals on Sunday, as caution kicked in before key inflation data, due later this week, which is likely to factor into the outlook for interest rates.

Recent signs of a cooling U.S. economy also weighed, after data on Friday showed that consumer sentiment sank to a six-month low in May, while inflation expectations rose.

S&P 500 Futures fell 0.05% to 5,243.75 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures steadied at 18,252.0 points by 19:08 ET (23:08 GMT). Dow Jones Futures were flat at 39,634.0 points.

Inflation data to dominate market focus

Wall Street is expected to tread water for at least the next few sessions, in anticipation of key producer price index and consumer price index inflation readings, due on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Investors will be watching for any signs of cooling inflation, after price pressures unexpectedly grew for the first three months of 2024, dashing hopes of early interest rate cuts.

A continuation of this trend is likely to further delay any potential plans for rate cuts. Even if inflation data this week shows some cooling, the reading is still expected to remain well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% annual target.

Before the inflation data, more signals from Fed officials are also on tap. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is set to speak later on Monday, after several of her peers warned last week that the Fed still needed more confidence that inflation was easing to begin cutting interest rates.

Wall Street on three-week gaining streak

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But despite caution over inflation and interest rates, Wall Street indexes were sitting on three straight weeks of gains, buoyed by some strong earnings, as well as the prospect of eventual interest rate cuts this year.

U.S. stock benchmarks remained close to record highs. But they were seen running out of steam in recent sessions, especially amid growing concerns that the world’s largest economy was cooling under pressure from sticky inflation and high rates.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 5,222.68 points on Friday. The NASDAQ Composite closed flat at 16,340.87 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 39,512.84 points. – Investing.com

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