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Futures jittery ahead of U.S. CPI data

  • Futures mixed: Dow up 0.29%, S&P rises 0.26%, Nasdaq adds 0.11%

Oct 13 (Reuters) – Wall Street futures ticked higher on Thursday, with investors on edge ahead of a closely watched U.S. inflation report that could keep the Federal Reserve on the path of aggressive interest rate hikes.

All three major indexes slipped in the previous session after minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers agreed they needed to maintain a more restrictive policy stance. read more

At the meeting, Fed officials raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for the third straight time in an effort to drive inflation down from 40-year highs, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell vowed that they would “keep at it until we’re confident the job is done.”

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) and the S&P 500 (.SPX) have fallen for six straight sessions on growing fears that aggressive tightening by the Fed could tip the world’s largest economy into a recession.

Consumer prices data due at 8:30 am ET will be closely watched for clues on how the central bank will proceed with its monetary policy tightening.

The headline CPI is expected to have gained at an annual pace of 8.1% in September, decelerating from August’s 8.3% rise, according to a Reuters poll.

Inflation heated up unexpectedly in August, defying consensus and dashing the hopes that a cooling trend could convince the Fed to rein in its monetary tightening.

Adding to the nerves, data on Wednesday showed U.S. producer prices increased more than expected in September amid strong gains in the costs of services and goods, suggesting inflation could remain uncomfortably high for a while. read more

At 04:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 86 points, or 0.29%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 9.25 points, or 0.26%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12 points, or 0.11%.

Megacap growth and technology stocks such as Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) slipped 0.5% each in early trading before the opening bell. Investors also awaited quarterly earnings reports from BlackRock (BLK.N), Domino’s Pizza (DPZ.N), Walgreens Boots Alliance and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N).

U.S. carriers are enjoying the strongest consumer demand in three years, but analysts and investors question how soon the good times might end as the growing risk of economic recession sparks worries about travel spending. read more

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Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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