Stock futures tick higher ahead of a fresh batch of economic data

Wall Street set to open with modest gains

U.S. equity futures rose slightly Thursday as investors looked ahead to several economic reports scheduled to come out in the morning.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 68 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained about 0.1%.

Retail sales, import prices and jobless claims, as well as the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey and the Empire State manufacturing survey are all slated for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Those reports will come after Wednesday’s producer price index report showed an decrease in wholesale prices of 0.1% in August.

Wall Street is coming off a choppy session in which the major averages posted modest gains. The Dow on Wednesday closed slightly higher, by 30 points, after falling more than 200 points at one point. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7%.

Stocks sought stability after a hotter-than-expected inflation report on Tuesday sent them tumbling to post their worst day since 2020. August’s consumer price index report showed headline inflation rose 0.1% on a monthly basis, despite a drop in gas prices.

“One-day events are tough to extrapolate,” said Jeff deGraaf, founder and chairman of Renaissance Macro Research, on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.” “It is one of those extreme events that doesn’t have follow-through and that tends to be good news, not bad.”

“Inflation is really a dark cloud over equities, but I think it’s really important that people keep in mind that it’s not about good and bad in the markets, it’s about better and worse,” he added, “and it does appear that inflation is getting better.”

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