US futures drift higher as more earnings, economic cues loom

Investing.com-- U.S. stock index futures rose slightly in evening deals on Sunday after a series of record highs on Wall Street, with sentiment remaining cautiously optimistic ahead of more cues on interest rates and earnings this week. 

S&P 500 Futures rose 0.1% to 5,334.25 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures rose 0.1% to 18,661.50 points by 19:23 ET (23:23 GMT). Dow Jones Futures rose 0.1% to 40,179.0 points. 

More Fed cues, PMI data on tap this week 

Focus this week is squarely on more cues from the Federal Reserve on the path of interest rates, with the minutes of the central bank’s late-April meeting due on Wednesday. 

The bank had kept rates steady and warned that it needed more confidence that inflation was coming down. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell had also said that rates were eventually expected to come down in 2024. 

Several Fed officials are also set to speak this week, with particular focus on the members of the Fed’s rate-setting committee. 

The Fed cues come amid increased focus on the bank’s plans to cut interest rates, especially after slightly softer inflation readings for April pushed up bets for a September rate cut. 

Beyond more cues on interest rates, markets were also awaiting purchasing managers index data for May, which is set to offer more cues on U.S. business activity. Any signs of cooling could factor into the outlook for interest rate cuts.

Wall St loses momentum after record highs 

While Wall Street indexes made new highs last week, they were still seen running out of momentum amid uncertainty over just when the Fed could begin trimming rates.

Overheated valuations, particularly in the technology sector, and cooling hype over artificial intelligence also limited just how high indexes could push.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% on Friday to 5,303.27 points, while the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.1% to 16,685.97 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 40,003.59 points.

Nvidia Q1 earnings due this week 

Focus this week was also on quarterly earnings from AI darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), to see whether the firm could justify a massive increase in valuation over the past year. 

Nvidia is also expected to clock a substantial increase in earnings, with revenue expected at $24.8 billion from $7.2 billion last year, while earnings per share are expected at $5.57 from $1.09 last year, according to Reuters estimates. 

Nvidia’s earnings are also expected to likely determine the trajectory of other tech stocks, given their increasing exposure to AI. 

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