Stock futures are up as investors await inflation data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stock futures are rising slightly Wednesday as investors look ahead to inflation data and earnings in the coming days that may provide insight into the future health of the economy.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 48 points, or 0.16%. Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.15%, while futures tied to the S&P 500 increased 0.18%.

The action follows a day of small ups and downs for the market as investors digested minutes from the September Federal Reserve meeting. The minutes showed the central bank expected to keep hiking interest rates until it sees receding inflation. But one comment made some think the Fed might instead slow the rate hikes, if not roll them back, if financial markets tumult continued.

The S&P 500 fell 0.33% to close at 3,577.03. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.09% to 10,417.10. The Dow Jones slipped 0.10%, or 28.34 points, to close at 29,210.85.

“Fed speakers similarly have, since the last meeting, been wedded to the message that their commitment remains solid, even in the face of global financial fault lines showing signs of strain,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial.

Early in the day, the September producer price index, a gauge of inflation that looks at final-demand wholesale prices, beat expectations. It rose 0.4% in September, more than Dow Jones’ consensus estimate of 0.2%.

Investors have more data to weigh Thursday as the consumer price index comes in the morning. Dow Jones’ consensus estimates show the CPI rose 0.3% in September, up from 0.1% in August. That would bring inflation’s annual pace to 8.1% from 8.3%.

Despite what she called a lukewarm response to PPI data and the Fed’s meeting minutes, Krosby said markets could be tested if the CPI print is higher than expected, particularly in bond yields.

Household names including Delta Air Lines, Walgreens and Domino’s Pizza will report earnings before the bell Thursday, coming as part of a week considered the start to a new corporate earnings season.

Weekly jobless claims data will also be released Thursday morning.

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