U.S. stock futures pointed higher on Monday, as investors digested key interest rate commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and looked ahead to fresh economic data.
At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow futures contract added 76 points or 0.22%, S&P 500 futures inched up by 7 points or 0.15%, and Nasdaq 100 futures increased by 36 points or 0.24%. The main indices all closed in the green to end the prior trading week.
In a highly anticipated speech at an annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday, Powell argued in favor of keeping interest rates steady for now. But he noted that “further tightening” could be warranted if the economy does not slow enough to help cool inflation.
The statements highlighted how carefully Powell and other Fed officials are trying to adjust the levers of monetary policy to corral price gains without causing a meltdown in the wider economy.
There is an 80% chance that the Fed will maintain borrowing costs at a range of 5.25% to 5.50% at its next meeting in September, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Meanwhile, the probability of a quarter-point hike at its November gathering stands at just under 50%, moving up from about 35% last week.
The Fed will have a chance to gauge the path of inflation when its preferred measure of price growth, the personal consumption expenditure index, is released on Thursday.
Policymakers will also be parsing through the nonfarm payrolls report for August, which is due out on Friday. Economists estimate that the U.S. will have added 170,000 jobs during the month, down from 187,000 in July, while the unemployment rate is seen staying unchanged at 3.5%. Such a reading could indicate that the Fed’s rate hikes are weighing on employer demand even as the overall labor market remains tight.
In individual stocks, 3M (NYSE:MMM) shares jumped in premarket trading. The Minnesota-based industrial conglomerate is reportedly nearing a settlement worth $5.5 billion to resolve hundreds of thousands of claims alleging that its earplugs sold to the U.S. military were defective.
According to multiple media reports, sources close to the matter say that the negotiations are ongoing and a final amount has yet to be finalized. The potential settlement was first reported by Bloomberg.
Source Courtesy: Investing.com