Stock futures rose Thursday after a key inflation reading showed slightly less year-over-year inflation growth than expected. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 208 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures and those connected to the Nasdaq-100 added 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively. July consumer prices gained 3.2% on an annual basis, less than the 3.3% consensus from economists polled by Dow Jones. On a month-to-month basis, inflation increased 0.2%, in-line with estimates. The report also said real average weekly earnings were unchanged last month in another positive sign. Still, the report had some signs of sticky inflation. Excluding food and energy, the so-called core July CPI reading was up 4.7% on an annual basis, far above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. And headline inflation was above the 3% annual rate in June. “Overall, this builds on the market’s expectations around a potential soft landing,” said Michelle Culver, portfolio strategist at Global X, adding that the reading was also “encouraging” for the Fed. Meanwhile, Disney gained 2% after announcing an upcoming price hike for ad-free Disney+ subscriptions. The media giant also reported fiscal third-quarter earnings per share that beat expectations. But Six Flags slid 2.6% following a worse-than-anticipated report. More than 90% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings for the quarter as of Thursday morning. Of those, about four-fifths have beat Wall Street expectations, according to FactSet, The moves followed another down session on Wall Street. The Dow dropped about 191 points, or 0.54%, while the S&P 500 shaved off 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.17%. Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as investors braced for July consumer price index data out from the U.S. on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rebounded and climbed 0.84% to close at 32,473.65, and the Topix was up 0.92% to end at 2,303.51. The country saw its July wholesale inflation rate — which measures the price companies charge each other for goods and services — slow to 3.6%, down from a revised figure of 4.3% in June. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.26% up, ending the day at 7,357.4, while South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.14% at 2,601.56 and the Kosdaq gained 0.25% to 911.29. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.25% in its final hour, while mainland Chinese indexes rebounded and ended the day higher. The Shanghai Composite was 0.31% up at 3,254.56 and the Shenzhen Composite margainally rose 0.54% and closed at 11,050.22. Oil prices stabilized on Thursday as investor caution dominated ahead of inflation data expected to offer clues on U.S. interest rates. Brent crude dipped 12 cents to $87.43 a barrel by while West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) edged down by 21 cents to $84.19. Gold firmed on Thursday buoyed by a softer dollar but was hemmed into a relatively tight range as traders positioned for U.S. inflation readings that could steer the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,920.20 per ounce, bouncing up slightly after touching its lowest level since July 10 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1% to $1,953.30.
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