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US stock futures edge higher after PPI hit; Earnings test awaited


US stock futures edge higher after PPI hit; Earnings test awaited By Investing.com

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AuthorAmbar WarrickStock Markets

Published Feb 18, 2024 06:54PM ET

© Reuters.

Investing.com– U.S. stock index futures rose slightly in evening deals on Sunday, steadying after a stronger-than-expected producer inflation reading spurred some losses in the prior session, with focus now turning to a swathe of major earnings this week.

Trading volumes were limited ahead of a holiday on Monday.

S&P 500 futures were flat, while Nasdaq 100 futures and Dow Jones futures rose 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. All three indicators remained within sight of record highs hit earlier in February.

U.S. stock indexes fell from near record highs on Friday after producer price index (PPI) inflation data read hotter than expected for January, ramping up fears that sticky inflation will give the Federal Reserve more impetus to keep interest rates higher for longer this year.

The S&P 500 closed 0.5% lower on Friday, while the NASDAQ Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively. 

The PPI reading came just a few days after a strong consumer price index reading, which had pulled U.S. stocks sharply off record highs. 

Nvidia, Walmart earnings in sight

But U.S. stocks face a slew of key earnings tests this week, which are largely expected to determine whether a recent rally on Wall Street is justified. 

Fourth-quarter earnings from chipmaker NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), due on February 21 after the market close, will be front and center. Nvidia has been at the heart of a massive rally spurred by growing hype over artificial intelligence, with investors now looking to the firm’s earnings and outlook for more cues on the trajectory of AI-fuelled demand. 

The chipmaker is expected to clock EPS of $4.63 from a revenue of $20.52 billion. A slew of analysts also raised Nvidia’s target price in anticipation of the earnings, while maintaining buy or outperform ratings on the chipmaker. 

Major retailer Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) is due to report its fourth quarter earnings on February 20, before the market opens. Walmart is usually seen as a key gauge of strength in U.S. consumer spending, which in turn is closely tied to the outlook for inflation. 

While consumer spending has eased steadily in recent months, amid pressure from sticky inflation and high interest rates, Walmart has still clocked steady earnings growth in recent quarters.

The retail giant is expected to post an EPS of $1.65 from a revenue of $169.3 billion.

Beyond the earnings, preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI) data for February is also expected to provide more cues on the U.S. economy later in the week. The minutes of the Fed’s February meeting are also on tap, and are expected to offer more signals on the path of U.S. interest rates this year.

US stock futures edge higher after PPI hit; Earnings test awaited

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