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Futures rise faster than numbers, speeches from Fed officials




Futures rise faster than numbers, speeches from Fed officials

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday highlighted by speeches from Federal Reserve officials, after economic data this week supported bets on U.S. interest rate cuts and improved investor sentiment.

Wall Street indexes were back within sight of record highs after a sell-off last month as a slew of economic data pointed to cooling momentum in the labor market, raising expectations that the Fed will cut borrowing costs more than once this year .

Traders are currently pricing in 46 basis points of rate cuts by the end of 2024, according to LSEG’s interest rate probability tool, with the first cut of 25 basis points in September.

Expectations of an easing of U.S. monetary policy, along with a much better-than-expected earnings season, put the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite on track for their third straight week of gains.

The blue-chip Dow Jones, currently on its longest daily winning streak since December, was poised for a fourth week of gains.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment survey for May is due at 10 a.m. ET.

Investors will also focus on speeches throughout the day from a host of Fed policymakers – Governor Michelle Bowman, Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari, Dallas President Lorie Logan and Vice Chairman for Oversight Michael Barr.

While most Fed policymakers have reiterated that the next policy step will be a rate cut, there is still doubt about when the easing will begin.

There is “significant” uncertainty about where U.S. inflation will head in the coming months, San Francisco Fed Chair Mary Daly said Thursday.

At 5:57 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 20.25 points, or 0.39%. Nasdaq 100 e-minis rose 86.25 points, or 0.47%, and Dow e-minis added 116 points, or 0.29%.

Nvidia gained 1.4% in premarket trading after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest chipmaker and a key supplier to Nvidia, reported a nearly 60% jump in April sales.

Akamai Technologies fell 10.6% after forecasting second-quarter revenue and profit below Wall Street estimates, anticipating weak demand for its content delivery services.

SoundHound AI, whose technology allows people to have conversations with products such as phones and cars, rose 16.4% after first-quarter revenue exceeded market estimates.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)