Wall Street stocks were getting ready to rally again on Wednesday, with investors embracing the idea that abruptly cooling inflation will put interest-rate hikes on ice as they waited for a consumer health check.
Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) futures led the way higher, up around 0.6%, after tech stocks on Tuesday had their best session since April. Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures added over 0.3%, while benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures were up roughly 0.4%.
The jump in stocks was juiced by the surprise easing in US price pressures, which spurred bets the Federal Reserve will keep rates steady and could start cutting them early next year. An unexpectedly sharp drop in UK inflation helped undermine the prospect of higher-for-longer rates that has dented bonds.
Shares in Target (TGT) surged around 15% in pre-market trading after its third-quarter earnings clobbered estimates. The big-box retailer pointed to the resilience of the US consumer in the face of higher borrowing costs.
Quarterly results from TJX Companies (TJX) will give more clues to spending patterns. But while the US economy has held up better than expected, that hasn’t translated to rises in retail sector stocks.
Data on US retail sales in October is due Wednesday, while an update on producer prices should cast more light on inflation.
Elsewhere, consumer spending picked up in China, fresh data showed, providing a lift to an economy struggling for recovery. The country’s slowdown is setting the stage for the high-stakes meeting between US President Joe Biden and China counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday, as the superpowers look to reset their fraught relationship.
Stock futures signal return to CPI-fueled gains
Wall Street stocks were poised Wednesday to continue the previous day’s rally where they left off, buoyed by bets that a cooling in inflation will bring an end to the Fed’s rate hikes.