Wall Street Ticks Down Ahead of Key Reports on Consumer Spending and Inflation

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The stock market experienced a modest retreat early Monday as investors awaited updates on consumer spending and inflation in the U.S. and globally. Before the bell, futures for the Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 each declined less than 0.2%.

Coming off the fourth consecutive winning week for Wall Street, the markets remained mostly quiet following a holiday-shortened week. There is cautious optimism among traders that inflation has cooled enough for the Federal Reserve to conclude its interest rate hikes.

Investors are eagerly anticipating the government’s release of the October report for a key inflation measure tracked by the central bank on Thursday. Additionally, Tuesday’s consumer confidence report from the Conference Board will provide insights into Americans’ sentiments about the economy as the holiday shopping season begins.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1%, Germany’s DAX fell 0.2%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3% at midday.

In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.5%, influenced by the producer price index in October coming in slightly higher than expected at 2.3%. In China, industrial profits declined 7.8% in January-October compared to the previous year, indicating ongoing economic challenges.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2%, and the Shanghai Composite lost 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.8%, while South Korea’s Kospi shed less than 0.1%.

Several central banks in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Bank of Korea, and Bank of Thailand, are holding policy meetings this week. While analysts expect them to maintain their current policies, attention remains high due to concerns about inflation.

Benchmark U.S. crude declined to $74.93 a barrel, and Brent crude, the international standard, fell to $79.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. dollar declined against the Japanese yen, reaching 148.90 from 149.53 yen, while the euro rose to $1.0953 from $1.0944.

Featured Image: Freepik

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About the author: Stephanie Bedard-Chateauneuf has over six years of experience writing financial content for various websites. Over the years, Stephanie has covered various industries, with a primary focus on tech stocks, consumer stocks, health stocks, and personal finance. This stock lover likes to invest for the long-term. Stephanie has an MBA in finance.