Stock futures edged lower on Thursday after a fresh round of inflation data reflected an uptick in consumer prices for December. S&P 500 futures dipped about 0.3%, while Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.2%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 91 points, or 0.2%. December’s consumer price index report came out slightly higher-than-expected, reflecting a 0.3% increase in consumer prices for the month, pushing the annual rate to 3.4%. Economists polled by Dow Jones had predicted that the CPI rose 0.2% in December and 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Core CPI, excluding volatile food and energy prices, came out in line with expectations, however, pointing to persistent yet easing inflation pressures.  “The ‘higher for longer’ party has received one more bullet in its banderole,” said Giuseppe Sette, president of market research firm Toggle AI. “With CPI marginally higher than expected … it becomes harder for the Fed to say that inflationary pressures have been tamed, especially in the face of a strong job market.” Investors are also eyeing the kickoff of the fourth-quarter earnings season, which will see banking behemoths Bank of AmericaWells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase report results Friday. Elsewhere, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved rule changes, opening the door for bitcoin exchange-traded funds and expanding investors’ access to the flagship crypto. Bitcoin has since ticked up, adding more than 3% to reach $47,200. Coinbase and Robinhood shares gained more than 2% and 3%, respectively, in premarket trading Thursday. Stocks are coming off a winning session, with all three major indexes rising on Wednesday. The S&P 500 added 0.57%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.75%. The 30-stock Dow advanced 0.45%. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose above 4% Thursday after the latest inflation reading came in hotter than expected, as investors sought clarity on the path of interest rate cuts from here. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose more than 2 basis points at 4.057%. It has been hovering around the 4% mark for much of the week. The 2-year Treasury yield was last more than one basis point higher at 4.383%. Japan led the advance in Asia markets, extending its record-breaking rally ahead of U.S. inflation data for December, while South Korea stocks clung on to gains after the Bank of Korea held interest rates. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 popped 1.77% to hold above the 35,000 mark for the first time since February 1990, closing at 35,049.86. The Topix also gained 1.57% to hit fresh 33-year highs, ending at 2,482.87. South Korea’s Kospi slipped to 2,540.27, and was the only benchmark index to decline, while the small-cap Kosdaq rose 0.81% to 882.63. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 1.32%, while China’s CSI 300 index rose 0.57% to finish at 3,295.67, rebounding from a near five-year low. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% to close at 7,506, rebounding from Wednesday’s losses. Oil prices rose on Thursday after an oil tanker was boarded by an armed group in Oman, raising the prospect of escalating conflict in the Middle East. Brent crude futures gained $1.36, or 1.77%, to $78.16 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose $1.30, or 1.82%, to $72.67, though gains were capped by a surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles. Gold prices climbed on Thursday, buoyed by a softer dollar, while markets awaited a key U.S. inflation report later in the day that could help gauge the Federal Reserve’s policy trajectory this year. Spot gold was up 0.4% at $2,031.83 per ounce, as of 0942 GMT. U.S. gold futures also rose 0.4% to $2,036.60.