Inventory Futures Edge Up, Led by Tech

U.S. stock futures edged up Wednesday, pointing to tepid gains at the open led by technology stocks.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked less than 0.1% higher. On Tuesday, it ground up for its third-highest close on record. Nasdaq-100 futures edged up 0.2%, suggesting muted gains for technology stocks after the opening bell.

The S&P has been subdued for much of the last two weeks as investors weigh the reopening of the economy with rising inflation and supply chain concerns. The onset of summer months and the pandemic are also leading to thinner trading volumes, money managers said.

“We’ve seen very low volatility over the past week,” said John Roe, head of multiasset funds at Legal & General Investment Management. “As we get into the warmer weather, we have less market participants and a less volatile environment. This reduces liquidity.”

Worries about runaway inflation have abated in recent days, although investors remain on watch for fresh data on inflation in May that is due Thursday.

“The debate around how persistent inflation is and will be for the coming months is key. This might create some volatility,” said

Luc Filip,

head of private banking investments at SYZ Private Banking. Last month’s “higher than expected [consumer-price index] figures triggered quite a bit of market stress,” he added.

Fresh data Wednesday showed a higher-than-expected spike in China’s producer prices in May, driven by a rise in commodity prices. The consumer-price index came in below forecasts, signaling that the higher costs haven’t yet been passed onto consumers.

“When you look at the global inflation picture, it is very interesting to see that actually, inflation isn’t such a problem currently in Asia,” Mr. Filip said.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged down to 1.514%, from 1.527% on Tuesday.

Bitcoin edged up 1.5% from Tuesday’s 5 p.m. ET level to trade at about $34,150, according to CoinDesk.

A trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 22, 2020.



Photo:

brendan mcdermid/Reuters

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was relatively flat after notching a fresh record on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Composite Index ticked up 0.3% by the close of trading, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.1%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 alid 0.4%.

Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected]

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