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Stock futures inch higher as investors eye interim results, await inflation data

The markets are set for a positive opening ahead of the key inflation report

Stock futures rose on Thursday as investors awaited new inflation data and watched US election results.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.2%.

That follows a day of losses with the Dow falling 646.89 points, or 1.95%. The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 declined nearly 2.5% and around 2.1%, respectively.

The decline came amid uncertainty stemming from the mid-term elections in the US. The market had hoped that Republicans would take sweeping control of the House of Representatives and the Senate on Tuesday – a situation that would create gridlock in Washington, DC. Instead, key Senate races in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada remain closely contested. In fact, the Senate race between Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, and Herschel Walker is headed for a December runoff.

The stock’s woes worsened late Wednesday after crypto exchange Binance said it was pulling out of plans to buy rival FTX. This dragged down the technology sector and dragged bitcoin’s price to a 2020 low.

A lack of clarity around the election, as well as uncertainty around incoming CPI data from October and corporate earnings reports were the drivers of the sell-off, said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at the Independent Advisor Alliance.

“Those three things lead to uncertainty,” he said. “And, as everyone knows, markets don’t like uncertainty.”

October’s CPI report, to be delivered on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET, is the next point of focus for investors. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the overall CPI to rise in October by 0.6% from September, or 7.9% a year ago. It is a key report for the Federal Reserve, which will meet again in mid-December.

Weekly unemployment claims also come out Thursday morning.

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