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Stock futures fall to start week with Fed meeting, key inflation data on deck

If we get through next week, we can rip into the end of the year, says Josh Brown from Ritholtz

US stock futures were modestly lower on Sunday night ahead of a week of more expected events in the ongoing fight against inflation.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 50 points, or about 0.2%. Those for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were 0.2% and 0.3% respectively.

The move in futures comes as investors will be focused on inflation this week. On Tuesday, the consumer price index for November is released, and traders will be watching for signs that inflation is easing.

The Federal Reserve has a two-day meeting starting the same day. The central bank is expected to announce another rate hike on Wednesday, although traders expect a smaller move than in recent months.

In addition to the expected rate hike, the Fed’s updated economic projections and Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference could be key signals for what the central bank wants to do in the coming months.

“Financial conditions have eased dramatically since the October CPI reading released last month, so the Fed is likely to use the December FOMC meeting to pull backk…We think the markets are too bullish on the rates after the first quarter, and we expect Powell to have a more hawkish tone and that the dots indicate higher rates over a longer period than what is currently being priced in by the futures markets.” said Cliff Hodge, Chief Investment Officer of Cornerstone Wealth.

Wall Street is coming off a rocky week in which all three major averages lost ground. The Dow fell 2.77% for its worst week since September. The S&P 500 fell 3.37%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.99%.

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