Stock futures inch higher to the highest inflation data in decades

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, April 4, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stock futures inched higher in overnight trading as investors weighed the latest inflation data for March.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures 0.13%.

Tuesday’s inflation data showed that consumer prices rose 8.5% in March from the previous year – the highest level since 1981 – further raising concerns about the Federal Reserve’s tighter monetary policy. Core CPI rose 0.3%, slightly below expectations.

“I think it’s very likely that inflation will peak,” Guggenheim Partners Global Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Tuesday. “If it does not peak in March, we are in the process of peaking.”

The 10-year treasury hit a new three-year high, above 2.82% before retreating to 2.727%.

After rallying earlier in the day, the large averages closed Tuesday’s session negatively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 87.72 points, or 0.26%, to 34,220.36. The S&P 500 dropped 0.34% to 4,397.45, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.30% to 13,371.57.

Seven sectors ended the day in the negative led by financially. Technology also struggled, with Microsoft and Meta closing about 1%. Nvidia fell 1.9% and Advanced Micro Devices fell 2.3%, continuing a string of losses in the semiconductor industry.

Oil prices jumped as China eased some Covid-19 lockdowns that could have tough demand. International benchmark Brent crude rose 6.26% to $ 104.64 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 6.69% to $ 100.60 per barrel. The movements boosted energy shares with Marathon Oil and Occidental Petroleum ending the day at 4.2% and 2.1% respectively.

Meanwhile, the dollar index rose 0.39% and hit a high of 100,332, its highest level since May 2020. Gold also added 1.43% and settled at $ 1,976.1.

Investors are looking forward to the start of the winning season on Wednesday, starting with JPMorgan and Delta Airlines.

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