U.S. stock futures slip as investors await Fed Chairman Powell’s Jackson Hole address

U.S. stock futures slipped early Friday ahead of what could be a market driving speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that may offer investors much needed clues on the pace of interest-rate increases.

A batch of data will come ahead of Powell, including the Fed’s favored inflation gauge.

How are stock-index futures trading?

It was the best session in two weeks for all three major indexes on Thursday. The S&P 500

rose 1.4% to 4,199.12, the Dow industrials

climbed 322.55 points, or 1%, to close at 33,291.78 and the Nasdaq Composite 

a dvanced 1.7% to 12,639.27.

What’s driving the market?

In the main event that markets have been looking forward to all week, if not longer, Powell will address the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium at 10 a.m. Eastern. Many expect he will back the central bank’s pledge to battle inflation.

“The Fed will want to be sure that inflation is falling at a sustainable enough pace before it signals any sort of dovish shift or pivot, especially if inflation turns out to be stickier than expected,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“He therefore needs to put to bed any idea that somehow rates will start to come down much before 2024, and in so doing, in contrast to last year when the narrative was lower for longer, he’ll need to craft the message of higher for longer, without prompting a meltdown in bond markets.”

Opinion: The Federal Reserve’s Powell has a lot of explaining to do

Read: How stocks perform as central bankers gather each year at Jackson Hole

Ahead of that, PCE price index data for July are due for release at 8:30 a.m. The core PCE price index, closely watched by Fed policy makers, is forecast to decelerate slightly to a 4.7% year-over-year rate, from 4.8%. July data on disposable incomes, personal incomes and consumer spending are expected at the same time, as well as advance trade in goods for the same month.

How are other assets trading?
What companies are in focus?
  • Shares of Dell Technologies Inc.

    fell 4% in premarket trading after executives said the end of the pandemic-driven PC sales boom appeared in the second quarter. Revenue fell short of analysts expectations.

  • Gap Inc.

    stock rallied 8% after the retailer swung to a surprise adjusted profit and sales slightly beat Wall Street expectations.

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