Futures dip in run up to inflation data

By Thomson Reuters Mar 11, 2024 | 4:27 AM

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Monday, as investors awaited key inflation figures this week that could provide cues on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy path, after a mixed jobs data reinforced expectations that it will begin easing by mid-year.

Wall Street ended the week lower on Friday as high-flying chip stocks fell from all-time highs and a labor market report showed more new jobs than expected while the unemployment rate also unexpectedly rose.

The mixed report bolstered bets of a Fed interest rate cut in June. Some traders even bet on a May rate cut after Friday’s data.

This week’s February data including consumer prices (CPI) will offer more cues on whether inflation has eased enough for policymakers to lower borrowing costs in coming months.

Sticky inflation data for January and signs of a robust economy halted the AI-led rally last month and led traders to push back bets of the first interest rate cut to June from March.

At 05:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 135 points, or 0.35%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 33.5 points, or 0.19%.

Nvidia rose 1.2% in premarket trading, following a more than 5% drop on Friday as chip stocks lost some momentum.

Other chip stocks including Qualcomm and Broadcom were down 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

Boeing eased 0.8% after a report that U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the planemaker’s 737 MAX blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight.

LATAM Airlines flight LA800, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, told the New Zealand Herald that a “technical problem” had caused a “strong movement” during a flight from Sydney to Auckland, hurting at least 50 people.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms including Coinbase Global, Riot Platforms and Marathon Digital climbed between 4.5% and 5.6% as bitcoin hit a fresh record high.

Eli Lilly fell 1.7%, after shedding 2.3% in the previous session.

The 2024 U.S. presidential election is also coming into focus, with investors bracing for a likely rematch between former president Donald Trump and incumbent president Joe Biden.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)