US stock futures flat after strong session; CPI data awaited

Investing.com-- U.S. stock index futures moved little in evening deals on Tuesday after Wall Street shrugged off stronger-than-expected producer inflation data, with focus now turning to a more closely watched reading on the consumer price index. 

Comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appeared to have factored into some strength on Wall Street, after he said that monetary policy was tight enough at current levels. This spurred bets that the Fed will not hike interest rates any further in 2024.

But these gains did not extend into aftermarket trade, especially as producer price index inflation data read stronger than expected for April. This put the upcoming CPI reading, which is due later on Wednesday, squarely in focus. 

S&P 500 Futures steadied at 5,271.75 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures moved little at a one-month high of 18,418.0 points by 19:46 ET (23:46 GMT). Dow Jones Futures steadied at 39,687.0 points. 

CPI inflation awaited after hotter-than-expected PPI data

Despite Tuesday’s gains, markets were now on edge over a potentially hotter-than-expected CPI reading for April, which is due later on Wednesday.

The reading comes after PPI data for April beat expectations, ramping up concerns that U.S. inflation will remain sticky and diminish the prospect of an interest rate cut by the Fed. 

Beyond the CPI data, U.S. retail sales data for April is also due later on Wednesday. 

Wall Street shrugs off PPI data, Nasdaq at record high close

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to close at 5,246.68 points on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 39,558.11 points. The NASDAQ Composite was a key outperformer, rising 0.8% to finish at 16,511.18 points- a record high closing level. 

Relief over no more interest rate hikes- especially after Powell’s comments, factored into some gains on Wall Street. Powell also reiterated that the U.S. economy was running strong. 

Still, markets are set for increased volatility this week with the CPI data. 

Meme stock rally cools, but GME and AMC buoyant

So-called meme stocks extended gains into aftermarket trade, albeit at a slower pace than those seen earlier this week. 

Videogame retailer GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) rose 4%, while theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC) rose nearly 10%. U.S. shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) rose 6.9%. 

GME and AMC, which were at the heart of the meme stock rally, more than doubled in value this week, after Keith Gill- a key figure in the meme stock community- began posting on social media following a nearly three-year absence.

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