Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
US stock futures were nearly flat Tuesday night as investors looked ahead to the first potentially fundamental inflation report scheduled for release this week.
Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average it lost 13 points, trading almost flat. S&P 500 Futures and nasdaq 100 futures also traded close to flat.
Investors are watching the June Consumer Price Index reading ahead of the bell on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones anticipate the closely watched inflation gauge to rise 0.3% from May and 3.1% on an annualized basis. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI is forecast to rise 0.3% per month and 5% per year.
June data for the producer price index, another well-watched indicator of inflation, will be released on Thursday before the bell. Both price indices are being watched for tea leaves in the path of inflation, which investors see as possible harbingers of how the Federal Reserve will move interest rates in the future. The market is pricing in a roughly 92% chance that the Fed will raise interest rates at the July meeting, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool.
“Investors are looking forward to tomorrow’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers, which could show inflation continuing to cool,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at the Independent Advisor Alliance. “But if it shows that inflation remains persistent… it is likely that it will force the Fed’s hand.”
Stocks ended higher in Tuesday’s session. He Dow finished more than 300 points higher, equating to a gain of around 0.9%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite it advanced almost 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.
Elsewhere, investors will follow comments from central bank officials, including Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester throughout Wednesday for a briefing on the state of US economic policy.