Wall Street pointed higher Monday as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s summer conference for signs of whether the U.S. central bank thinks inflation is under control or more interest rate hikes are needed.
Futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.5% before the bell, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 0.3% higher.
The benchmark S&P 500 index declined Friday ahead of this week’s closely watched Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference. Fed officials have used the event in previous years to hint at changes in policy.
There “may be rude hawkish surprises” for investors who assume rate hikes are finished, said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in a report. Chair Jerome Powell “may allude to structurally higher (and potentially more volatile) inflation being the new norm.”
The S&P 500 soared in the first seven months of 2023 but has given back more than one-quarter of that gain after critics warned the market embraced the notion too early that inflation was under control and rate hikes were finished.
Shares of security software maker Palo Alto Networks jumped more than 12% before the bell Monday after the California company reported better profit than expected after the bell on Friday.
Electric car maker Tesla clawed back some of last week’s 10% loss, rising about 3% before markets opened.
Software maker Nvidia rose 2.6% ahead of its second-quarter earnings release on Wednesday.
Some investors are shifting money to bonds as higher interest rates make their payout bigger and less risky.
Tech and other high-growth stocks are seen as some of the biggest losers due to higher rates. Several are down more than 10% from this year’s highs.
Data indicating U.S. consumer spending and hiring are unexpectedly strong have fueled expectations the Fed might feel pressure to keep its benchmark lending rate higher for longer.
Inflation has declined from its peak above 9% last year but still is above the Fed’s 2% target. Consumer prices rose 3.2% in July over a year earlier, up from the previous month’s 3% increase.
Economists say the last stage of getting inflation down to the Fed’s target may prove the most difficult.
At midday in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.4%, the CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.1% and the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 0.6%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2% to 3,092.97 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 0.4% to 31,565.64. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.8% to 17,623.29.
The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.2% to 2,508.80 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.5% to 7,115.50.
India’s Sensex gained 0.5% to 65,300.30. New Zealand and Singapore retreated while Bangkok and Jakarta gained.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.03 to $82.28 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, advanced 89 cents to $85.69 per barrel in London.
The dollar edged up to 145.91 yen from Friday’s 145.32 yen. The euro rose to $1.0908 from $1.0878.
On Friday, markets finished with their third straight weekly loss as the S&P declined 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.2%. The Dow added 0.1%.
McDonald reported from Beijing; Ott reported from Silver Spring, Maryland.