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Stock Market Today: Stocks dip with inflation data on deck Intel slumps

Keep an eye out for updates as the trading day progresses.

U.S. equity futures experienced a slight dip on Friday, potentially breaking a streak of five consecutive record closes on Wall Street. Investors are closely watching a key inflation reading that could strengthen the case for Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts later in the year.

The previous session ended on a positive note, with the S&P 500 achieving its fifth consecutive record close, pushing the benchmark’s 2024 gain beyond 2%.

The bullish sentiment was fueled by a better-than-expected reading of fourth-quarter GDP growth, driven by a surge in consumer spending. Meanwhile, a slight increase in weekly jobless claims and a steady auction of $61 billion in new 7-year notes exerted downward pressure on Treasury yields.

As of the last update, the benchmark 10-year note was trading at 4.109%, with 2-year notes pegged at 4.31%. The dollar index saw a 0.3% decline against a basket of global peers, dropping to 103.274.

After a week filled with mixed corporate earnings, including a significant miss from Tesla (TSLA) that resulted in an over $80 billion reduction in its market value, investors are shifting focus to macro issues. This includes the release of the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.

The PCE Price Index, scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time, is expected to show a modest uptick in monthly price pressures, with both the headline and core rates easing on an annualized basis. This would provide further evidence that inflation is moving convincingly toward the Fed’s 2% target.

Apart from macro indicators, Wall Street will be closely monitoring several earnings-driven stock stories, including Intel (INTC). The chip giant is marked 10.9% lower following a disappointing 2024 outlook that raises doubts about its long-delayed comeback.

Visa (V) shares are active, dropping 3.2% after reporting stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The credit-card stalwart issued a muted near-term outlook linked to a modest spending slowdown due to extreme cold weather.

Caterpillar (CAT), American Express (AXP), and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) are set to report December-quarter earnings before the opening bell.

As trading begins on Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the S&P 500 suggest a 4-point opening bell dip, while those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicate a 35-point pullback.

In overseas markets, Europe’s Stoxx 600 reached a two-year high with a 0.88% gain, driven by strong performance in the luxury-goods sector and the aftermath of a dovish rate decision from the European Central Bank. Overnight in Asia, stocks turned lower due to ongoing selling in the tech sector and profit-taking following a week of rare gains, with the MSCI ex-Japan benchmark slipping 0.35% and the Nikkei ending 1.34% lower in Tokyo.

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