Stock futures rise after release of new U.S. inflation data, Powell speech ahead

Stock futures were little changed on Friday soaked up fresh inflation data ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Futures contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 70 points, or 0.21%. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.05% and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.05%.

Nonetheless, all major averages are on pace for their second consecutive week of declines. The Dow Jones is on track for a 1.2% decline. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are heading for slightly smaller declines of 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.

All eyes are on Powell’s highly anticipated speech at 10 a.m. ET at the central bank’s annual symposium in Wyoming. Traders digested one of the Fed’s favorite inflation measures, personal consumption expenditure data, which on Friday showed that price increases eased in July.

Investors are hoping for new directions how the Fed will act this fall, but expectations are lower, with many expecting Powell to reiterate the Fed’s promise to curb inflation by raising interest rates. Opinions are divided on whether the Fed will hike rates by half a percentage point or three-quarters of a point at its next policy meeting in September.

“Recent US economic data has been encouraging, improving the likelihood of the Fed achieving a soft landing. But we believe markets may have gotten ahead of prices in this scenario,” Mark Haefele wrote. UBS’s Chief Investment Officer, Global Wealth Management, in a statement. Friday note.

The moves followed a bullish day for major averages in which the Dow jumped around 300 points and the S&P 500 gained 1.4%. The Nasdaq Composite was the best performer, rising 1.7% as a decline in yields helped tech stocks.

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