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Producer Price Inflation Data May Weigh On Wall Street

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May 14 2024 9:05AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to modestly lower open on Tuesday, with stocks likely to move to the downside after ending yesterday’s lackluster session narrowly mixed.

The futures edged lower following the release of a Labor Department report showing producer prices in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of April.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.5 percent in April after a revised 0.1 percent dip in March.

Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The report also said the annual rate of producer price growth accelerated to 2.2 percent in April from a downwardly revised 1.8 percent in March.

The year-over-year producer price growth was expected to inch up to 2.2 percent from the 2.1 percent originally reported for the previous month.

The data may lead to renewed uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the release of more closely watched consumer price inflation data on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, overall activity may be somewhat subdued in early trading ahead of remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Powell is scheduled to participate in a moderated discussion with De Nederlandsche Bank President Klaas Knot at the annual general meeting of the Foreign Bankers’ Association.

Following the strong upward move seen last week, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Monday. The major averages moved to the upside early in the session but spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the day narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq rose 47.37 points or 0.3 percent to 16,388.24, the S&P 500 edged down 1.26 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 5,221.42 and the Dow dipped 81.33 points or 0.2 percent to 39,431.51.

The early strength on Wall Street came as stocks continued to benefit from recent upward momentum, which led to an eight-day winning streak for the Dow.

Renewed optimism about an interest rate cut by Federal Reserve in the coming months contributed to the recent strength.

Buying interest waned over the course of the session, however, as key inflation data due this week could have a significant impact on the outlook for rates.

Among individual stocks, shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) soared after social media persona “Roaring Kitty,” whose posts helped spark a frenzy of activity in the video game retailer’s stock in 2021, posted on X for the first time in three years.

Website building and hosting company Squarespace (NYSE:SQSP) also surged after entering into a definitive agreement to go private in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6.9 billion.

Most of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets.

Airline stocks showed a substantial move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index surging by 2.5 percent.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) posted notable gains after HSBC initiated coverage of the stocks with Buy ratings.

Considerable strength was also visible among biotechnology stocks, driving the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index up by 1.1 percent to its best closing level in a month.

Shares of Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY) spiked by 8.6 percent after the biotechnology company announced its Board of Directors approved a share repurchase authorization of $2.0 billion.

Meanwhile, housing stocks came under pressure over the course of the session, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 1.0 percent.