Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on January 04, 2023 in New York City.
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U.S. stock futures ticked up early Thursday as investors looked toward new consumer inflation data for greater insight on the economy.
The major averages closed Wednesday’s main trading with modest gains, marking a fourth consecutive winning session. The Dow advanced 0.2%, while the S&P 500 added 0.4%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.7%, closing above its 50-day moving average for the first time since September.
The consumer price report for September will be released Thursday morning. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are forecasting a 0.3% month-over-month increase, and 3.6% rise from the prior year. Investors believe that the strength of inflation indicated in the report will play a key part in whether the Federal Reserve decides to maintain or raise interest rates at its two-day meeting beginning Oct. 31.
The data comes following a stronger-than-expected producer price index for September.
“[August’s] CPI print was a bit stronger than we anticipated, though the downward trend in core inflation persisted. We would hope for that to continue, [but] will be keeping a close eye on the pass-through of higher energy prices into broader inflation in the months ahead should they persist,” said Vanguard senior economist Andrew Patterson.
The ongoing Israel-Hamas war has raised questions of a potential oil supply crunch and a resulting rise in fuel prices if the geopolitical instability spreads to neighboring oil producers in the region.
Traders will also be keeping an eye out on jobless claims numbers for the week ending Oct. 7. Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic and Boston Fed president Susan Collins will be giving remarks Thursday afternoon, which could give Wall Street more insight into the central bank’s stance.
Several companies will kick off the latest earnings season Thursday. Delta Air Lines and Walgreens Boots Alliance will release their results before the market open. Fastenal and Domino’s Pizza are also scheduled to post their quarterly earnings.