US Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales
Market participants look ahead to the release of a duo of economic reports on inflation, and retail sales due Friday for signs of continued improvement in the U.S. economy, which could strengthen the Federal Reserve’s case for a more aggressive outlook on US monetary policy.
Analysts expect consumer prices rose 0.2% in December from 0.1% in the previous month. rose 0.2% in October, compared to an 0.1% rate in the previous month. In the 12 months through November, consumer prices are expected to have risen 1.7%.
Inflation is one of the key measures the Federal Reserve’s considers when undertaking monetary policy decision. Inflation has lagged the US central bank’s target of 2%.
Economists forecast retail sales rose 0.4% in December, well below the 0.8% growth in the previous month.
Ahead of the reports, the dollar traded sharply lower against its rivals.
Wall Street Unofficially Gets Earnings Season Underway
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Blackrock (NYSE:BLK) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) report earnings Friday before US markets open amid a recently rally in financials as investors bet that financials are set to benefit from tighter monetary policy and recent tax-reform measures. Investors are eager for an update on how tax-reform could potentially boosts banks’ lending businesses and spur corporate deals.
Baker Hughes rig count
The weekly instalment of drilling activity from Baker Hughes on Friday, will provide investors with fresh insight into U.S. oil production and demand, after the number of active drilling rigs fell last week.
The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.
At Thursday’s settlement price, crude futures rose 23 cents to settle near a three-year high of $63.80 amid investor expectations that global oil demand growth, and ongoing OPEC cuts will reduce excess supplies.
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