Stock market today: Wall Street quiet ahead of US consumer confidence survey, inflation report


Premarket trading is muted ahead of an inflation report and a survey of how American consumers are feeling about the economy.

Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were essentially flat before the bell Tuesday.

The Conference Board will publish an update on consumer confidence, which has been in decline for three months. Economists expect the survey to show that Americans’ confidence in the economy fell again in November, according to a poll by FactSet, potentially bad news for businesses with the holiday shopping season in full swing.

On Thursday the government releases its October data on the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. Economists expect that measure to continue easing, as it has been since the middle of 2022.

Investors have grown cautiously optimistic that inflation has cooled enough for the Federal Reserve to put a definitive end to its aggressive interest rate hikes. Meanwhile, the broader economy has remained strong enough in the face of rising interest rates and inflation to avoid a recession.

What the Fed will do next will remain in focus for Wall Street through the end of the year.

The Fed has been holding its benchmark interest rate steady at a range of 5.25% to 5.50% since its last quarter-point hike at its July meeting. Investors increasingly expect the Fed to cut rates in mid-2024, easing it off its highest level in two decades. Its goal is to cool inflation without slowing economic growth to the point of causing a recession.

Signs the U.S. economy is slowing, and that conditions in China remain uncertain are weighing on sentiment, analysts say.

After U.S. new home sales slowed more than expected in October, “The Conference Board’s consumer confidence survey could well show a deterioration in mood,” Robert Carnell and Min Joo Kang of ING Economics said.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1% to 33,408.39.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1% to 17,354.14. Chinese AI firm SenseTime’s shares sank 4.9%, having fallen nearly 10% after Grizzly Research accused the artificial intelligence software company of inflating its revenue figures. In a notice to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Sensetime said the allegations were “without merit” and showed a lack of understanding of the company’s business and its financial reporting.

Grizzly also has taken aim at other Chinese tech companies, including online clothing retailer Temu.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1% to 2,521.76 and the Shanghai Composite index edged 0.2% higher, to 3,038.55.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 7,015.20 and India’s Sensex was flat at 65,969.29. Bangkok’s SET gained 0.7%.

At midday in Europe, Germany’s DAX lost 0.1% ahead of a speech by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to parliament where he plans to lay out how he and his fractious governing coalition plan to improve the struggling economy and find their way out of a budget crisis.

The CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.6%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4%.

In the bond market, Treasury yields were uneven. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other loans, inched up to 4.4% from 4.39% late Monday. The yield on the 2-year Treasury fell to 4.87% from 4.89%.

Early Tuesday, U.S. benchmark crude rose 72 cents to $75.58 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international pricing standard, gained 74 cents to $80.61 a barrel.

The price of U.S. crude oil fell 0.9% Monday, remaining mostly stable ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Thursday. The cartel has maintained tight supplies, though prices have been falling over the last month. Lower energy prices could further ease inflation’s squeeze on consumers and spur business activity.

In other trading Tuesday, the U.S. dollar fell to 148.50 Japanese yen from 148.68 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0952 from $1.0955.

On Monday, the S&P 500 fell 0.2% and the Dow industrials also edged 0.2% lower. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%. The S&P 500 remains on track to close out November as its best month of the year.

Source: post

No posts to display