S&P 500 Futures Hold Ground After Notching 17th Record Close

Early Wednesday, U.S. stock futures hinted at the potential for another S&P 500 record high, despite a slightly higher-than-expected inflation report being shrugged off by investors. Here’s how the stock-index futures are trading:

  • S&P 500 futures slipped 2 points to 5,239.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 5 points to 39,475.
  • Nasdaq 100 futures eased 25 points, or 0.1%, to 18,452.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 235.83 points, or 0.61%, to close at 39,005.49, the S&P 500 added 57.33 points, or 1.12%, to 5,175.27, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 246.36 points, or 1.54%, to 16,265.64.

The S&P 500 is poised for its 18th record close of the year as investors digest a slightly stickier consumer price index report, remaining optimistic about at least a 25 basis point interest rate cut in June.

Although February’s U.S. core CPI figures may have given the Federal Reserve reason to proceed cautiously with rate reductions, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, suggests that there’s still time for data to sway the central bank’s decision before its June meeting. Market expectations for rate cuts remain steady, with only a modest increase in 10-year yields.

Analysts note a decreased emphasis on inflation data’s impact on stock markets lately, with tech sector growth and optimism about economic stability continuing to drive sentiment. Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, points to a prevailing positive outlook due to the strength of the U.S. economy.

Tuesday’s market gains, including a significant surge in Nvidia shares, are attributed in part to the fear of missing out (FOMO) on AI-related stocks, according to Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Corporate updates for Wednesday include earnings reports from Dollar Tree, Petco Health & Wellness, and Williams-Sonoma before the opening bell, followed by UiPath, SentinelOne, and Lennar after the market close. No major U.S. economic reports are scheduled for release on Wednesday, and with the Federal Reserve in a quiet period before its policy decision next week, no Fed speakers are expected.

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