U.S. Stocks Flat With Inflation, Fed Meeting On Tap

U.S. stock index futures moved little in evening deals on Sunday with investors sticking to the sidelines before a Federal Reserve meeting this week, as well as key inflation data.

Futures steadied after Wall Street clocked some losses on Friday, as a blowout nonfarm payrolls report saw markets rethink expectations that the central bank will cut rates by September.

S&P 500 Futures steadied at 4,355.75 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures rose slightly to 19,040.0 points by 19:04 ET (23:04 GMT). Dow Jones Futures steadied at 38,867.0 points.

Fed rate decision, CPI data approach

All eyes were on the conclusion of a Fed meeting on Wednesday, where the central bank is likely to keep interest rates unchanged.

But any signals on when it plans to begin cutting interest rates will be closely watched, given that the economy still remains relatively strong.

Nonfarm payrolls data on Friday showed the labour market- one of the considerations for the Fed in reducing rates- remained strong. Markets sharply scaled back bets on a September rate cut after the reading, which sparked some losses on Wall Street.

But before the Fed meeting, consumer price index inflation data is also due on Wednesday, and is expected to show inflation remaining comfortably above the central bank’s target range.

Inflation has been the Fed’s biggest consideration in altering interest rates, with the bank largely presenting a high-for-longer outlook for rates in the face of sticky inflation.

Wall Street remains near record highs

But even with Friday’s losses, Wall Street indexes remained close to record highs hit last week, buoyed by gains in heavyweight technology stocks, chiefly market darling NVDA.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 5,346.99 points. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.3% to 17,129.90 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.2% at 38,798.99 points.

Still, high valuations raised the possibility of profit-taking in stocks, especially as risk appetite dwindled before the Fed. – Investing.com

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