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U.S. Futures Flat; PPI Data, Delta Earnings in Focus

Stock MarketsJan 13, 2022 06:53AM ET
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By Peter Nurse - U.S. stocks are seen opening largely unchanged ahead of more inflation data, while the start of the earnings season is set to show another strong quarter for corporate America.

At 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 25 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 Futures traded 2 points, or 0.1%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 10 points, or 0.1%.

The major indices closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbing for the third day on the trot despite inflation data showing prices rose the most in 40 years last month.

While the headline annual CPI figure climbed 7.0% in December, expectations of a high figure were already reflected in the market and investors judged that the Federal Reserve was unlikely to act any more aggressively than it had already signaled.

There’s more inflation data on the slate Thursday, with wholesale prices expected to have risen by 0.4% in December on a month-on-month basis, at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT), a slowdown from November’s 0.8% rise. 

U.S. jobless claims, due at the same time, are expected to have stayed near last week’s post-pandemic lows, while Fed Governor Lael Brainard appears at a hearing on Capitol Hill for her confirmation as deputy chair.

However, attention will be turning toward the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season, with several major banks reporting on Friday before the bell.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) reported higher quarterly earnings on the back of strong holiday travel demand, but warned of a loss in the current quarter due to turbulence caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Homebuilder KB Home (NYSE:KBH) impressed after the close Wednesday on continued strong demand for housing and Taiwanese chip firm Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM) reported a record quarterly profit earlier Thursday on the back of booming semiconductor demand.

Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) will also be in the spotlight after cryptocurrency exchange’s chief financial officer downplayed rumors that it is about to start offering trading in digital currency Shiba Inu.

Oil prices stabilized after Wednesday’s mixed U.S. supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Crude inventories fell 4.5 million barrels last week, much larger than expected, with stockpiles at their lowest since October 2018. However, that bullish news was tempered by gasoline stockpiles increasing by a hefty 8 million barrels, suggesting fuel demand has taken a hit from Omicron.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $82.67 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $84.79. Both contracts jumped well over 1% in the previous session, climbing to their highest levels in two months.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,823.50/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher to 1.1465, a two-month high. 

U.S. Futures Flat; PPI Data, Delta Earnings in Focus

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