U.S. stock futures were fractionally lower early Monday ahead of a week with several anticipated events in the ongoing fight against inflation.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 3 points, or 0.01%. Those for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 edged 0.07% and 0.1% lower, respectively.
The move in futures comes as investors will be focused on inflation this week. On Tuesday, the November consumer price index will be released, and traders will be looking for a sign that inflation is slowing.
The Federal Reserve has a two-day meeting starting the same day. The central bank is expected to announce another rate hike on Wednesday, though traders are anticipating a smaller move than in recent months.
In addition to the expected rate hike, the Fed’s updated economic projections and Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference could be key signals for what the central bank wants to do in the coming months.
“Financial conditions have eased dramatically since the October CPI reading released last month, so the Fed will likely use the December FOMC meeting to walk those back. …We think the markets are too sanguine on rates after the first quarter and we expect Powell to take a more hawkish tone and for the dots to indicate higher rates for a longer period of time than what is currently being priced in by the futures markets,” said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth.