Stock Market Today: Stocks dip with inflation data on deck; Intel slumps

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U.S. equity futures slipped lower Friday, potentially snapping a run of five consecutive record high closes on Wall Street, as investors looked to a key inflation reading that could cement the market’s case for Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts later in the year.

Stocks ended the Thursday session on another high note, with the S&P 500 recording its fifth consecutive record close to take the benchmark’s 2024 gain past 2%, as a better-than-expected reading of fourth-quarter GDP growth, powered by a surge in consumer spending, led the session’s bullish sentiment.

At the same time a modest uptick in weekly jobless claims and a steady auction of $61 billion in new 7-year notes put downward pressure on Treasury yields and added to the afternoon’s late gains.

Benchmark 10-year note were last seen trading at 4.124%, with 2-year notes pegged at 4.31%. The dollar index slipped 0.3% against a basket of its global peers to 103.274.

Wall Street could snap its run of five consecutive record closes on Friday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Following a busy week of mixed corporate earnings, which included a big miss from Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report that lopped more than $80 billion from its market value, investors are likely to shift focus to the macro issues Friday with the release of the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.

The PCE Price Index, slated for release at 8:30 am Eastern Time, is likely to show a modest uptick in monthly price pressures, with both the headline and core rates easing on an annualized basis that would provide further evidence inflation is moving convincingly toward the Fed’s 2% target.

Beyond macro, several earnings-lead stock stories will also be keenly tracked on Wall Street, including Intel  (INTC) – Get Free Report, which slumped nearly 11% following a disappointing 2024 outlook that casts doubt on its long-delayed comeback.

Visa  (V) – Get Free Report shares are active, falling 3.2% after its stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The credit-card stalwart issued a muted near-term outlook tied to a modest slowdown in spending linked to extreme cold weather. 

Caterpillar  (CAT) – Get Free Report, American Express  (AXP) – Get Free Report and Colgate-Palmolive  (CL) – Get Free Report are all set to report December-quarter earnings prior to the opening bell.

Heading into the start of trading on Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the S&P 500 are primed for a 1 point opening bell dip while those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are looking at a 3 point bump.

The tech-focused Nasdaq, meanwhile, is called 45 points lower.

In overseas markets, strong gains in the luxury-goods sector, as well as the follow-on from a dovish rate decision from the European Central Bank, helped lift Europe’s Stoxx 600 to a two-year high Friday, with the benchmark last trading 0.88% higher on the session.

Overnight in Asia, however, stocks turned lower amid ongoing selling in the tech sector and profit-taking following a week of rare gains. The regionwide MSCI ex-Japan benchmark slipped 0.35% into the close of trading while the Nikkei ended 1.34% lower in Tokyo.

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