Sunday, 3 March 2024


Futures muted; U.S. CPI, earnings ahead this week

Dow Futures Extend Declines After Powell Reiterates Hawkish Stance

© Reuters. — U.S. stock futures were little changed on Monday, with markets taking some caution ahead of a week of major economic data and company results. Elsewhere, rivals Diamondback (NASDAQ:) Energy and Endeavor Energy Resources are reportedly closing in on a merger that would give the combined entity a massive presence in the Permian Basin, a key U.S. production hub.

1. Futures tread water

U.S. stock futures mostly held around the flatline on Monday, as investors geared up for a week of key economic data releases and a slew of quarterly corporate earnings.

By 04:27 ET (09:27 GMT), the contract had shed 47 points or 0.1%, while were broadly unchanged and had inched up 11 points or 0.1%.

The benchmark closed above 5,000 for the first time ever to end the prior trading week thanks in part to a surge in megacap groups like Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and (NASDAQ:). Artificial intelligence chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ:) also jumped to a record high following a Reuters report that it was building a new division that will aim to provide bespoke chips for cloud computing businesses and others.

On Friday, the tech-heavy added 1.3% and the blue-chip dipped by 0.1%. All of the main indices on Wall Street posted their fifth consecutive winning week.

2. Inflation data, earnings slew ahead

Highlighting the economic calendar this week will be the latest publication of the monthly U.S. consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of inflation that could factor heavily into how the Federal Reserve approaches future interest rate decisions.

The measure is expected to show that headline price growth in the world’s largest economy slowed on both an annual and monthly basis in January. The core reading, which strips out volatile items like food and energy, is seen decelerating year-on-year and remaining unchanged versus December.

Despite widespread expectations late last year that the Fed would soon begin to start bringing borrowing costs down from more than 2-decade highs, several policymakers have flagged lingering concerns that a recently strong U.S. economy could fuel a rebound in inflation. For that reason, officials at the central bank have said that they want to see more signs that prices are moderating before rolling out cuts.

Meanwhile, earnings season marches on, with more than 60 firms in the S&P 500 due to unveil results this week.

Some of these names, including Coca-Cola (NYSE:), Shopify (NYSE:) and Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:), may…

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