By Peter Nurse
Investing.com — U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally higher Tuesday, with investors wary ahead of the release of key inflation data and the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.
At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow futures contract was up 35 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures traded 7 points, or 0.2% higher, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 20 points, or 0.2%.
The main indices closed in a mixed manner Monday, with investors digesting the implications of the March jobs report, released on Good Friday, on future Federal Reserve monetary policy.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 100 points, or 0.3% higher, and the S&P 500 gained 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite posted small losses.
The economy created 236,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.5% at more than 50-year lows.
This indication of continued strength in the labor market has raised fears that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates,
With this in mind, investors will focus this week on the second part of the Fed’s dual mandate – price stability – for further clues as to the U.S. central bank’s appetite for further aggressive rate hikes.
March inflation figures are due on Wednesday, and economists expect core consumer price inflation, which excludes food and fuel costs, to rise 0.4% on a month-over-month basis, for an annual increase of 5.6%, up from 5.5% in February.
The Fed is also set to publish the minutes of its March meeting on Wednesday, while later Tuesday there will be speeches from the likes of Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.
In corporate news, earnings are scheduled Tuesday from used car seller CarMax (NYSE:KMX) and grocery giant Albertsons (NYSE:ACI), but it’s the quarterly results from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) at the end of the week that will attract the most attention as they will provide an update on the health of the U.S. banking sector following last month’s crisis.
Oil prices edged lower Tuesday ahead of the release of industry data showing crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer.
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry body, is scheduled to release its weekly data on U.S. crude stockpiles later in the session, and is expected to show another fall after last week’s drop of over 4 million barrels.
By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% lower at $79.62 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.2% to $84.00.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.8% to $2,019.55/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.6% higher at 1.0924.