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Stock futures rise slightly after July’s cooler-than-anticipated consumer inflation

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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U.S. stock futures inched up on Thursday night as traders mulled over July’s consumer inflation report and looked ahead to wholesale prices data.

Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 38 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.  

During Thursday’s main trading session, the major averages notched small gains, but were far off the session’s highs. The Dow added 52.79 points, or 0.15%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.12%. The S&P 500 ticked up just 0.03%. 

July’s consumer price index indicated prices rising by 3.2% on an annual basis, which was lower than the 3.3% forecasted by economists, per Dow Jones. However, the core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 4.7% from the prior year.

“I think investors in general have just been overly optimistic as we enter this seasonally weak period,” said James Demmert, chief investment officer of Main Street Research. “The print on the CPI, I think, is a reminder: The Fed’s done a lot of this work that needs to be done, but it’s still a bit sticky. So that means rates [are] higher for longer,” he said Thursday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.”  

Demmert added that there are indications the market may be due for more of a pullback from current levels, noting the market’s retreat from its “big open.” 

“That’s kind of what corrections look like as you roll through. And I think we’re just a third through this one, so far,” he said.

On a weekly basis, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are bound for declines of 0.2% and 1.2%, respectively. Both are on pace for their second straight losing week — a first for the tech-heavy Nasdaq since the conclusion of a four-week losing streak in December 2022. The Dow is an outlier of the three major averages, on track for a modest gain of 0.3%.

Investors will be keeping an eye on more economic data to come on Friday. July’s producer price index data will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET, while preliminary consumer sentiment data for August is due at 10.

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