US stock futures were largely unchanged on Monday evening before a highly anticipated inflation report was released ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street on Tuesday.
Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21 points or less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 saw similarly modest gains.
The futures move ahead of the March consumer price index reading, which is expected to be published at 8:30 a.m.CET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones forecast an increase in the overall index of 0.5% compared to the previous month and of 2.5% compared to the previous year.
Government officials, including Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Sunday, and Biden administration economists on Monday, stressed that while the change can be expected to spike in inflation in the coming months, it is based on comparisons with last year’s pandemic lockdowns Annual and additional consumer spending could prove to be temporary stimulus checks and pent-up demand.
Private sector strategists and economists also said the reading may not be a true measure of rising prices.
“We will soon see the effects of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic on economic data. A particular focus will be inflation. Our message is simple: do not fall victim to this head forgery,” Putnam Investments said in a note on Monday.
Fed officials said they were ready to let inflation run hot for a period of time without changing their accommodative policy stance, including buying assets and a benchmark interest rate close to zero.
The markets were calm on Monday with the three main indices pulling back slightly. The S&P 500 ended its previous record close by a hair, while the Dow slipped 55 points. The Nasdaq Composite lagged behind, losing 0.4%.
The bond market was also subdued on Monday, with the 10-year government bond yield rising slightly and trading near 1.67%. The returns move inversely to the prices.
The market was calm for the past week as Wall Street slumped ahead of the first quarter earnings season. The company news is expected to gain momentum as the week progresses. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Delta Air Lines are among the companies to release quarterly results.
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