Home Editor's Picks US stock futures inch higher in slim trade as PCE data approaches

US stock futures inch higher in slim trade as PCE data approaches

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Investing.com– U.S. stock index futures rose slightly in evening deals on Monday, with focus largely on more cues on interest rates from key inflation data due later in the week.

The Memorial Day holiday kept trading volumes slim. But volumes are set to pick up this week with a barrage of key economic readings, including revised first quarter gross domestic product data. 

S&P 500 Futures rose 0.1% to 5,327.75 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures rose 0.2% to 18,918.0 points by 19:06 ET (23:06 GMT). Dow Jones Futures rose 0.1% to 39,192.0 points.

PCE inflation test due this week 

PCE price index data, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, is due this Friday. 

The reading is likely to factor into the central bank’s outlook on interest rates, and will be closely watched after a string of Fed officials warned that sticky inflation will delay any plans to loosen monetary policy.

This saw traders begin pricing out expectations for a rate cut in September. The CME Fedwatch tool shows traders pricing in a 50.7% probability the central bank will keep rates steady, along with a 43.6% chance of a 25 basis point rate cut.

Friday’s PCE reading is expected to show some cooling in inflation. But inflation is also set to remain well above the Fed’s 2% annual target range. 

Wall St in sight of record highs, volatility increases 

Gains in technology stocks, chiefly market darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), helped the NASDAQ Composite end at a record high last week. The index also clocked some gains for the week. 

While the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also tested record levels, they were held back by losses in most other sectors, amid concerns over high for longer interest rates. 

High rates dent the appeal of risk-driven assets such as equities. They also limit the amount of liquidity in the market which can be invested into stocks. 

The S&P 500 ended up 0.7% at 5,304.72 points on Friday, while the Nasdaq closed up 1.1% at a record high of 16,920.79 points. The Dow ended flat at 39,069.59 points.

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