US pre-open: Stocks little changed as traders look ahead to Fed minutes

by | Nov 20, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Wall Street Futures were little changed ahead of the bell on Monday as major indices search for direction following a recent hot streak.
As of 1215 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.04%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.03% and 0.09% firmer, respectively.

The Dow closed just 1.81 points higher on Friday, capping off another winning week in what has been a red-hot month for major averages. Last week’s gains were fuelled by tame inflation numbers, giving traders hope that the central bank may soon soften its tough stance on interest rates.

Interactive Investor’s Richard Hunter said: “Markets are continuing to bask in the sunlight of easing monetary conditions, with each of the three major US indices posting gains for the third successive week, resulting in a positive November performance so far.

“The latest inflation data added to hopes that the Federal Reserve could still be on track to engineer a soft landing for the economy, with the consensus firmly of the opinion that the interest rate hiking cycle has now ended. Indeed, traders are already debating the timing of potential interest rate cuts as the next development, with summer currently gaining popularity as a possible return to easier monetary measures.”

Monday will be a quiet day on the Street, with no major economic data scheduled for release. However, in the corporate space, video conferencing giant Zoom will publish its latest set of quarterly earnings after the close of trading.

Also drawing an amount of investor attention, tech giant Microsoft hired ousted OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman to head up its new advanced AI research team. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella announced the surprise move on Monday, just days after Altman was forced out of OpenAI.

As far as the rest of the week goes, the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes will be the main event as the US prepares for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Traders will thumb over the minutes for signs that the Fed has indeed finished its interest rate rising prrogramme following weaker-than-anticipated CPI figures. Elsewhere, existing home sales, durable goods orders, and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index will all be published this week.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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