Futures inch up with Fed minutes, Nvidia results on tap for the week

By Thomson Reuters May 20, 2024 | 5:19 AM

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, with Nvidia’s quarterly results and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting minutes due this week likely to test Wall Street’s record-breaking run.

All the three major indexes marked their fourth straight week of gains on Friday as upbeat corporate earnings and softer-than-expected inflation data supported hopes for interest rate cuts this year.

Both the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq touched an all-time high last week, while the blue-chip Dow closed above the 40,000 level on Friday.

Investors are keenly awaiting quarterly results from artificial intelligence (AI) chip leader Nvidia and minutes of the Fed’s latest monetary policy meeting, both scheduled for Wednesday.

“The minutes will sound more hawkish on the margin than Chair Powell’s press conference, as other members on the committee were more concerned than Powell about whether policy was doing enough,” analysts at Bank of America said in a note.

With few clues so far from Fed officials on the timing for rate cuts, investors will parse remarks from rate-setters including Raphael Bostic, Michael Barr, Christopher Waller and Philip Jefferson during the day.

Traders expect a near 82% chance that the Fed will cut rates by at least 25 basis points in September, according to the CME’s FedWatch Tool.

On the economic data front, weekly initial jobless claims, S&P global flash PMI readings and durable goods data are due through the week.

Global market participants were also closely watching out for developments around the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a helicopter crash.

At 5:29 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.09%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26 points, or 0.14%.

Paramount Global climbed 3% premarket after a report Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management have signed non-disclosure agreements that will allow them to look at the U.S. media company’s books ahead of a potential bid for its assets.

Johnson Controls International jumped 4.6% following a report that activist investor Elliott Investment Management had built a position worth over $1 billion in the building solutions provider.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)