Futures contracts for the major US stock indices were mixed on Tuesday, hovering near record highs as investors awaited key inflation data from the world’s biggest economy.
S&P 500 futures were edged 0.05% higher after the index finished 0.02% lower on Monday, taking it narrowly below Friday’s all-time high. Dow Jones futures rose 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures were roughly flat.
Asian stocks moved broadly higher overnight after data showed Chinese imports and exports rebounded in March. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.72%, but China’s CSI 300 index slipped 0.16% as a spike in yields on the debt of a major asset manager unnerved investors.
In Europe, the continent-wide Stoxx 600 index rose 0.25%. The UK’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.04% despite data showing the country’s GDP rose 0.4% in February.
Meanwhile, bitcoin soared to an all time high of above $62,000 ahead of crypto exchange Coinbase’s IPO, with renewed institutional interest powering the latest leg higher.
The main event on investors’ radar on Tuesday will be US consumer price index inflation data, due at 8.30 a.m. ET.
Predictions of higher growth and inflation have already caused a spike in bond yields, which have in turn weighed on the fast-growing parts of the stock market like technology shares, which look relatively less attractive when yields rise.
Analysts expect Tuesday’s data to show US CPI inflation rose to 2.5% in March from 1.7% in February.
Inflation “has emerged as a key focal point for markets given the debates surrounding inflation and its implications for monetary policy moving forward,” strategist Jim Reid at Deutsche Bank said.
“Indeed, part of the reason that markets have brought forward their expectations for Fed rate hikes is based around rising inflation expectations that they think the Fed might have to rein in.”
Karen Ward, JPMorgan Asset Management’s chief European strategist, has said she thinks inflation could average 3% over the next 10 years, thanks in part to huge amounts of pent-up savings.
However, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius predicted in a note that underlying US inflation would remain “well below the Fed’s 2% target, consistent with an economy that remains well below full employment.”
Bond yields climbed on Tuesday morning, with the yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note rising 1.5 basis points to 1.691%. Yields move inversely to prices.
Investors will also be keeping an eye on 30-year US Treasury auctions, after 3- and 10-year sales attracted solid demand.
Oil prices edged higher, with Brent crude up 0.4% to $63.54 a barrel and WTI crude 0.3% higher to $59.87 a barrel.