Investors Unpack Inflation Data Ahead of Powell Comments

The PCE inflation index fell 0.1% in July, while the core PCE index rose 0.1%

Deputy Editor
Aug 26, 2022 at 9:23 AM
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Stock futures are edging higher this morning, ahead of remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the annual Jackson Hole symposium, which Wall Street has been anxiously anticipating all week. In the meantime, investors are unpacking inflation data.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index fell for the first time in over two years, dropping 0.1% as gas prices sank, while Wall Street's preferred metric, the core PCE index, rose 0.1% for the month, and 4.6% year-over-year in July -- both narrower than expectations. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit in goods fell 9.7% last month. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Options bulls target Plug Power stock after deal.  
  • Highlighting this sports retailer ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, SGEN drops on stalled buyout talks; ULTA rakes in bull notes; and software name considering sale. 

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.39 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 822,556 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.59, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.67.
  2. Seagen Inc (NASDAQ:SGEN) is down 7.5% before the bell, after Bloomberg reported acquisition talks with Merck (MRK) have since gone cold, as the two struggle to agree on a buyout price. Year-to-date, SGEN remains up 6.3%. 
  3. Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) is up 3.5% premarket, after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter results and raised its full-year net sales guidance. No fewer than 12 analysts raised their price targets after the event, with the highest hike coming from Deutsche Bank to $589 from $563. Now eyeing its fourth-straight day of gains, ULTA is up 8.8% quarter-to-date. 
  4. Software stock Everbridge Inc (NASDAQ:EVBG) is up 15.5% in electronic trading, following news the company is working with an adviser to explore strategic options, including a possible sale. What's more, Stifel raised its price target to $38 from $32. The equity is sporting a 46.9% year-to-date deficit.
  5. Today will bring disposable incomes, real consumer spending, nominal personal incomes, and nominal consumer spending data. Plus, the University of Michigan (UM) will release its final consumer sentiment index, and five-year inflation expectations.


Markets Eye Consumer Data Overseas

Asian markets saw mixed settlements Friday amid news from the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. and China are attempting to reach a deal that would let regulators from the former inspect Hong Kong audit records. Meanwhile, Tokyo shares its fastest rise in the core consumer price index (CPI) since October 2014, at a higher-than-expected 2.6%. In response, the Nikkei in Japan jumped 0.6%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng added 1%, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.3%, and the South Korean Kospi added 0.2%.

In Europe, stocks are struggling for direction ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, out later today. Traders are also anticipating the latest consumer sentiment reading in Germany, and the French consumer confidence index, which are also due out later on Friday. At last glance, the London FTSE 100 is 0.1% higher, the French CAC 40 is down 0.2%, and the German DAX is 0.05% lower.


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