Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

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Stock futures traded higher Monday morning at the start of another busy week for corporate earnings and fresh economic data as investors continue to assess the Federal Reserve’s path forward for monetary policy.

Contracts on the S&P 500 rose, extending gains from last week. The Nasdaq also headed toward a higher open, while the Dow was little changed.

After last week’s rollercoaster trading — with stocks sliding following Meta Platforms’ (FB) disappointing outlook, and then rebounding sharply following Amazon’s (AMZN) earnings beat — investors are poised to receive another hefty batch of corporate earnings results. Companies including Disney (DIS) to Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT), Pfizer (PFE) and Coca-Cola (KO) are each set to report quarter results in the coming days. Peloton (PTON) will also post results amid reports that companies including Amazon and Nike (NKE) are considering making bids to purchase the fitness technology company.

Heading into this week, just over half of S&P 500 companies had reported actual quarterly earnings results. The expected growth rate for aggregate S&P 500 earnings stood at 29.2%, according to data from FactSet on Friday. If maintained for the next several weeks of the earnings season, this would mark the fourth straight quarter that earnings grow by more than 25%.

And on the economic data front, this week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) due out Thursday will serve as one key report helping market participants determine the next moves from the Federal Reserve to curb rising prices.

Consensus economists are looking for the CPI to rise by 7.2% on an annual basis for January, marking the fastest rise in prices since 1982. Such a result would further add fuel to the narrative that the U.S. economy has recovered sufficiently, and is now running hot enough, to warrant an aggressive pivot to tightening from the Fed. Last week’s much better-than-expected jump in payrolls in the Labor Department’s January jobs report also underscored the extent of the recovery.

“Following the stunning performance of the January employment report, the coming week’s key release is likely to be Thursday’s January CPI report as it will provide policymakers and market participants insight about inflation amid furthering signs of persistent, elevated price pressures that, in turn, support expectations for hawkish monetary policy actions initiating in March,” Sam Bullard, Wells Fargo senior economist, wrote in a note on Sunday.

“Further increases in inflation expectations, particularly longer-term expectations, would only add more pressure on the Fed to act in March and uncertainty over the path of rate hikes,” he added.

And indeed, market participants have increasingly priced in the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will ultimately raise interest rates five times in 2022, marking an increase from the just three interest rate hikes the central bank itself had telegraphed in December. Some investors have also suggested that the Fed might hike rates by 50 basis points after its March policy-setting meeting rather than by a quarter-point, which would mark the first move of such a magnitude since 2000.

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originally published at Finance - RSV News