U.S. stock futures edge widely lower ahead of key inflation data release

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U.S. stock futures edge widely lower ahead of key inflation data release

By Scott Kanowsky

Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures inched broadly lower on Friday ahead of the release of a key inflation measure that is closely examined by Federal Reserve policymakers.

At 06:55 ET (11:55 GMT), S&P 500 futures traded 7 points or 0.18% lower, and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped by 53 points or 0.44%. The Dow futures contract, meanwhile, slipped slightly below the flatline.

The major indexes closed the previous session in the green, as investors digested stronger-than-expected U.S. growth data and a slew of corporate earnings. The S&P 500 gained 1.10%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied by 1.76%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 0.61%.

Ahead of the market open, traders will have an opportunity to look over the latest U.S. core personal consumption expenditure price index - the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation. The reading, which removes volatile energy and food prices, is expected to tick up slightly to 0.3% in December.

This will come after Commerce Department figures released on Thursday showed that the U.S. expanded by 2.9% in the fourth quarter, down from 3.2% in the prior three-month period but above economists' estimates for growth of 2.6%. The print sparked hopes that the American economy could prove resilient despite concerns over a potential recession.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance last week unexpectedly dropped, suggesting lingering tightness in the U.S. labor market.

Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims dipped to 186,000 in the week ending January 21 from an upwardly revised level of 192,000 in the prior week. Economists had predicted the figure would jump to 205,000. The rolling four-week average , which aims to adjust for volatility in the numbers, decreased by 9,250 to 197,500.

Analysts widely expect the recent data will lead the Fed to raise interest rates by a more modest 25 basis points when officials meet next week. The U.S. central bank aggressively increased borrowing costs throughout 2022 in a bid to tamp down demand and cool red-hot price growth.

In corporate news, the recent parade of quarterly results marches on, highlighted by Chevron (NYSE: CVX ), American Express (NYSE: AXP ), and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL ).

Elsewhere, the expected recovery in China and the implications of the U.S. GDP data were key themes. By 06:55 ET, U.S. crude futures were 1.57% higher at $82.28 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 1.55% to $88.83 per barrel.

Additionally, gold futures edged down 0.03% to $1,929.45/oz and EUR/USD declined by 0.11% to 1.0876.

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