Stock futures rose Thursday after another key inflation reading came in lighter than expected. This came after the S&P 500 closed at its highest level in over a year. S&P 500 futures rose 0.3%, while Nasdaq-100 futures added 0.6%. Futures connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 53 points, or about 0.1%. Shares of PepsiCo rose more than 2% after the beverage and snack giant reported earnings and revenue for the second quarter that beat analyst expectations. Meanwhile, Delta popped 4.3% after the airline posted record quarterly earnings and raised its outlook for the full year. Disney shares added more than 1% after the entertainment giant extended CEO Bob Iger’s contract through 2026, two years longer than planned. June’s producer price index report rose less than anticipated, building upon optimism from Wednesday’s consumer price index data. The PPI, which measures what wholesalers pay for goods, rose 0.1% in June. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected an increase of 0.2%. Core PPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.1% — also lower than expectations. Stocks surged Wednesday after a cooler-than-expected June consumer price index report eased some worries that the Federal Reserve may tip the economy into a recession as it fights to bring down sticky inflation. The broad market index and Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.74% and 1.15%, respectively, to hit their highest closing levels since April 2022. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 86.01 points, or 0.25%. Fundstrat’s Tom Lee told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Wednesday that today’s CPI print, future expectations for easing and recent stock activity paint a market that is “behaving more like a soft landing” scenario that many deemed unreachable at the start of 2023. “I think the Fed has to sort of start to accept that this is indeed a breakdown of inflationary pressures, and so, they may potentially then reduce their notion of higher for longer, or the market begins to price it in,” he said. “That’s not a guarantee, but again, we believe that’s the case.” Asia-Pacific markets rose across the board Thursday after the U.S. inflation rate for June came in lower than expected at 3%, the smallest year-over-year increase in two years. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 2.54% in its final hour of trade and led gains in the region, while the Hang Seng Tech index surged over 3%. Mainland Chinese markets were also all up, with the Shanghai Composite gaining 1.26% to close at 3,236.48 and the Shenzhen Component higher at 1.61% to end 11,095,44. China’s June trade data came in below expectations in June, with exports recording its biggest decline in more than three years. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.64% to end the day at 2,591.23. The Kosdaq saw a 1.5% gain to close at 1.22% as the Bank of Korea held its key policy rate unchanged at 3.5%, in line with expectations. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.56% and closed at 7,246.9 to record a three day winning streak, while in Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 1.49% to end at 32,419 and the Topix was 0.97% higher at 2,242.99. Global oil benchmark Brent hovered above $80 a barrel on Thursday after U.S. inflation data implied interest rates in the world’s biggest economy are close to their peak. Oil prices have rallied by around 12% in two weeks, primarily in response to supply cuts from top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “Some profit-taking at these levels wouldn’t be hugely surprising and may have come sooner if not for the U.S. consumer price inflation data,” he said. Brent crude futures were up 20 cents to $80.31 per barrel by 1135 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 11 cents at $75.86. Gold prices climbed to their highest in about a month on Thursday on a weaker dollar after U.S. inflation data raised investor hopes that the Federal Reserve would soon stop tightening its monetary policy. Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,959.09 per ounce, its highest since June 16. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,964.40.
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