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U.S. Stocks May Move Back To The Downside In Early Trading

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June 11 2024 9:07AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Tuesday, with stocks likely to move back to the downside after ending the previous session modestly higher.

Traders may look to cash in on yesterday’s slim gains, which lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to new record closing highs.

Overall trading activity is likely to remain relatively subdued, however, as investors look ahead to two major economic events on Wednesday.

Early trading on Wednesday is likely to be driven by reaction to the Labor Department’s closely watched report on consumer price inflation in the month of May.

Economists expect consumer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent in May after climbing by 0.3 percent in April, while core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, are expected to increase by 0.3 percent for the second straight month.

The annual rate of growth by consumer prices is expected to come in unchanged at 3.4 percent, but the annual rate of core consumer price growth is expected to slow to 3.5 percent in May from 3.6 percent in April.

The data could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement later in the day.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement as well as officials’ latest projections for the economy and interest rates.

Extending the lackluster performance seen last Thursday and Friday, stocks showed a lack of direction during trading on Monday. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing modestly higher.

Despite the choppy trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs. The Nasdaq climbed 59.40 points or 0.4 percent to 17,192.53, the S&P 500 rose 13.80 points or 0.3 percent to 5,360.79 and the Dow edged up 69.05 points or 0.2 percent to 38868.04.

Traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of several key events later this week, including the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting.

The Fed is due to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday, when the central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged.

Since the decision is largely seen as a foregone conclusion, traders are likely to pay closer attention to Fed officials’ latest projections for the economy and rates.

Ahead of the Fed announcement, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on consumer price inflation in the month of May.

Reports on producer prices, import and export prices and consumer sentiment and inflation expectations may also attract attention later in the week.

Oil service stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Oil Service Index up by 2.9 percent. The rally by oil service stocks came amid a notable increase by the price of crude oil.

An increase by the price of gold also contributed to considerable strength among gold stocks, as reflected by the 1.6 percent gain posted by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.

Semiconductor stocks also turned in a strong performance, resulting in a 1.4 percent advance by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Computer hardware, natural gas and retail stocks also saw some strength on the day, while telecom stocks moved notably lower, adding to the steep losses posted last Friday.