Stock futures opened slightly higher on Tuesday night after falling during the regular trading day, with selling pressure returning to markets in September, even after a report last month showed a slower-than-expected rise in inflation.
Contracts on the S&P 500 ticked above the flat line. Dow futures also stabilized after the index lost nearly 300 points during the regular trading day, resumed declines and fell for the sixth time in seven sessions. Shares of technology heavyweight Apple (AAPL) rose in late trading after the company unveiled its latest line of new products, including the iPhone 13 and new versions of the iPad, iPad mini and Apple Watch.
Shares’ decline on Tuesday even came after cooler-than-expected inflation for August, suggesting that some of the sharp price gains earlier this year had begun to subside. The Department of Labor’s consumer price index (CPI), excluding volatile food and energy prices, rose just 0.1% in August compared to July, posting the slowest monthly rise since February. Core CPI also rose less than expected last year.
However, the biggest contributors to the decline were price drops for things like airline tickets and hotel rooms, which were likely only temporarily reduced due to renewed concerns about the Delta variant. Still, the slower-than-expected rise in consumer prices is helping to reaffirm the view of some Federal Reserve policymakers that inflation will eventually be transitory, and provide more room for officials to stick with current monetary policy for longer, some experts said. .
“We probably won’t get the answer to whether it’s transient or not until 2022 — that’s when the base effects start to wash away and all the perturbations start to resolve on their own,” Sameer Samana, Wells Fargo Investment Institute senior global market strategist, Yahoo Finance told Tuesday.
“What today’s figure tells us is that the Fed probably has a little more leeway,” he added. “If they don’t want to do anything at the meeting next week, given the weaker than expected… [August] The payroll count, today’s inflation rate, also takes the pressure off to do something next week.”
Still, investors continue to assess a host of risks to the economic and equity outlook, with price pressures the only concern. And with US stocks still relatively close to all-time highs and the S&P 500 still up more than 18% so far this year, the fundamental background jitters have only grown.
“I think we’re going to see a bit of an air pocket from some companies towards the end of the year,” Chris Retzler, portfolio manager for small cap growth funds at Needham, told Yahoo Finance. “Supply chains are still definitely stretched. Semiconductors are an issue in almost every industry and labor costs remain an issue. But if I look a year further, I’d think those issues are starting to subside, and that’s good for long-term investors.”
6:10 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock Futures Rising
These were the main moves in the markets as of Tuesday evening:
S&P 500 futures (ES = F): +4 points (+0.09%) at 4,448.50
Dow futures (YM=F): +21 points (+0.06%) to 34,604.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ = F): +15 points (+0.1%) to 15.402.00
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck