Futures up as easing price pressures set Wall St for weekly gains

By Thomson Reuters Aug 12, 2022 | 7:02 AM

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, setting the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq for a fourth straight week of gains on easing bets of another super-sized interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 is up 15% from its mid-June, with the latest boost coming from a slower-than-expected rise in consumer prices and a surprise drop in producer prices in July.

The benchmark index is within sight of a 50% retracement of its bear market loss and investors are watching the 4,231 level. The index last closed at 4,207.27.

While policymakers remain firm about a further tightening in monetary policy until inflation pressures fully abate, traders see a 63.5% chance of the Fed raising rates by 50 basis points next month instead of a 75 basis points hike. [FEDWATCH]

The Fed has raised its policy rate by 225 basis points since March as it battles to cool demand without sparking a sharp rise in layoffs.

High-growth and technology stocks such as Tesla and Nvidia rose 1% each in trading before the bell as investors flocked back to riskier assets.

Growth stocks have underpeformed their value counterparts so far this year on worries that rising Treasury yields due to aggressive rate hikes will pressure their valuation.

Investors bought $7.1 billion in equities in the week to Wednesday, according to a Bank of America note, with U.S. growth stocks recording their largest weekly inflow since December last year.

Meanwhile, banks looked set to extend their rally for sixth straight week, with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs gaining 0.4% each in premarket trading.

At 07:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 106 points, or 0.32%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.33%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 42 points, or 0.32%.

Rivian Automotive Inc slipped 0.2% even as the electric-vehicle maker reported better-than-expected second quarter revenue.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary survey of consumer sentiment for August is expected at 10:00 am ET.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru)