U.S. Stocks May See Initial Strength As Inflation Data Looms

After ending yesterday’s choppy trading session little changed, stocks are likely to move mostly higher in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to initial strength on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.3 percent.

Technology stocks may lead an early upward move after Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported its second quarter sales surged much more than expected.

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor, which supplies chips for AI giants like Nvidia (NVDA) and Apple (AAPL), are jumping by 2.6 percent in pre-market trading.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the release of closely watched consumer price inflation data on Thursday.

Economists expect the annual rate of consumer price growth to slow to 3.1 percent in June from 3.3 percent in May, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth is expected to hold at 3.4 percent.

During congressional testimony on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said more “good data” would strengthen the central bank’s confidence inflation is moving sustainably toward its 2 percent target and lead to a potential interest rate cut.

Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Tuesday, with the major averages bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually ending the day narrowly mixed.

Despite the choppy trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 once again reached new record closing highs. While the Dow edged down 52.82 points or 0.1 percent to 39,291.97, the Nasdaq inched up 25.55 points or 0.1 percent to 18,429.29 and the S&P 500 crept up 4.13 points or 0.1 percent to 5,576.98.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. The French CAC 40 Index, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are all up by 0.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.06 to $81.47 a barrel after slumping $0.92 to $81.41 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,286.70, up $18.80 compared to the previous session’s close of $2,367.90. On Tuesday, gold rose $4.40.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 161.45 yen compared to the 161.33 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0823 compared to yesterday’s $1.0813.

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