US Stocks sink in wait for Fed

US stock futures declined slightly as investors waited for the Fed’s new print. This is the most important inflation measure, and it will give more information about interest rates.

S&P 500 futures were down 0.32%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 55 points, or 0.22%. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite were down 0.62%.

The Fed’s price index for personal consumption expenditures is the only one everyone is watching.

According to a Bloomberg consensus estimate, the PCE index is expected to have risen 0.53% from the previous month in January. In December, PCE inflation increased by only 0.14% month-on-month. Year-on-year, PCE inflation is forecast to reach 5.4% from the annual rate reported at the end of 2022, with no improvement.

Core PCE is set for a 0.43% increase in the previous month – slightly higher than December’s 0.34% – and slightly slower growth of 4.34% on the year from 4.43%—in the last month of 2022.

If these numbers materialize, they will support recent indications that inflation is not falling as quickly and as much as investors had hoped, even as prices have stabilized.

Most recent stock moves

  • Block (SQ) rose nearly 7.4% after the payments processor reported better-than-expected financial results for Q4.
  • Warner Bros. Shares of Discovery (WBD) fell 5.4%.
  • Boeing shares fell 3.3% after the airline maker said it had stopped deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner jets because of a documentation problem.
  • Beyond Meat’s stock rose 13.4% after earnings, which were better than expected. The CEO said they’re making progress with cost cuts and production issues.
  • The used-car retailer Beleaguered was in a slump, down 4.4% after reporting a net loss that was nine times wider in Q4.
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Investors changed their expectations for interest rates after a sharp return to price stability and strong economic data.

The S&P 500 snapped a 4-day losing streak on Thursday as stocks closed higher.

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