U.S. Stocks May Open Higher Following Tame Inflation Data
U.S. stock futures have moved to the upside on Tuesday following the release of the Labor Department’s highly anticipated report on consumer price inflation. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 141 points.
The advance by the futures came after the Labor Department report showed consumer prices increased by slightly less than expected in the month of August.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.3 percent in August after climbing by 0.5 percent in July. Economists had expected consumer prices to increase by 0.4 percent.
Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices inched up by just 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.3 percent in July. Economists had been expecting another 0.3 percent increase.
The report also showed a slowdown in the annual rate of consumer price growth, which dipped to 5.3 percent in August from 5.4 percent in July.
The annual rate of core consumer price growth also slowed to 4.0 percent in August from 4.3 percent in the previous month.
The relatively tame inflation data may ease concerns that the Federal Reserve will be pressured into scaling back stimulus sooner than hoped.
The Fed is scheduled to hold a monetary policy meeting next week, with many expecting the central bank to provide an update on the outlook for its asset purchase program.
With officials indicating inflation has reached a level consistent with tapering asset purchases, some traders worry the Fed could jump the gun amid signs of a slowdown in economic momentum.
Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Monday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 both snapping five-session losing streaks. The Nasdaq bucked the uptrend, however, as the tech-heavy index closed lower for the fourth straight session.
The Dow climbed 261.91 points or 0.8 percent to 34,869.63 and the S&P 500 rose 10.15 points or 0.2 percent to 4,468.73. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq climbed off its worst levels but still edged down 9.91 points or 0.1 percent to 15,105.58.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 1.4 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.2 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.52 to $70.97 a barrel after climbing $0.73 to $70.45 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after inching up $2.30 to $1,794.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $1.30 to $1,793.10 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.95 yen compared to the 109.99 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1835 compared to yesterday’s $1.1811.
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