Market Snapshot: Wall Street eyes positive start after first weekly fall in five


U.S. stock futures edged higher after the first weekly fall in five tries, with traders still focused on inflation and how central banks will respond to rising prices.

What’s happening
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, +0.31% rose 94 points, or 0.3%, to 36107
  • Futures on the S&P 500 ES00, +0.22% rose 0.2%, or 10 points, to 4688
  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100 NQ00, +0.22% rose 0.2%, or 39 points, to 16232

The major U.S. benchmarks each dropped for the first time in five weeks. It was a positive Friday, however, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.50% rose 179 points, or 0.5%, to 36100, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.72% increased 34 points, or 0.72%, to 4683, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.00% gained 157 points, or 1%, to 15861.

The S&P 500 finished just 0.4% away from a record high.

What’s driving markets

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey released Friday showed inflation data weighing on consumer attitudes, though it’s not clear that will translate into weaker spending. The Chicago Fed ‘s advance retail trade summary forecasts a 2.6% jump in retail sales excluding auto, far stronger than the 1% gain seen in an economist poll. The retail sales report is due Tuesday.

“The strong demand from households despite depressed attitudes suggests that heavy fiscal support and highly accommodative financial conditions are outweighing the constraining influence of weak sentiment. If fiscal support and monetary accommodation are strong enough to counter depressed attitudes, they are probably strong enough to push inflation higher,” said Michael Moran, chief economnist at Daiwa Capital Markets America.

The inflation backdrop makes the next choice of Federal Reserve chair all the more important politically for President Joe Biden. The Wall Street Journal reported he may choose between renominating Fed Chair Jerome Powell, or choosing Fed. Gov. Lael Brainard, as early as this week. The report said the Brainard meeting “went better than expected.”

Biden is due to sign the infrastructure bill into law in a signing ceremony Monday afternoon. He’s due to hold a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the evening.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde told European Parliament that the central bank expects inflation to moderate next year, though prices will take longer to decline than originally expected. European inflation data is due for release this week.

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