Traders on the floor of the NYSE, April 14, 2022.
Stock futures oscillated near the flatline Thursday as investors took a step back from this month’s rally.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked higher by 11 points, or 0.03%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.03%, while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.07%.
In after-hours action, Gap shares leapt 15% as the company posted better-than-expected results in the third quarter. Electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint slid 27% after announcing a shake-up in its C-suite and cutting its forecast for third-quarter revenue.
During regular trading, the 30-stock Dow ended the session lower by 0.13%, snapping a four-session run of gains. The S&P 500 added 0.12%, and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.07% higher.
Even as the indexes’ hot streak slowed, all three averages are on pace for weekly gains — and that would mark their third straight positive week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are up more than 2% through Thursday’s close, while the Dow is on pace for a 1.9% rise.
Soft readings for October’s consumer price index and the producer price index carried stocks during the week. CPI was flat from the previous month, while wholesale prices dropped 0.5% for their largest monthly decline since April 2020.
The results lifted investors’ hopes that the worst of inflation — as well as the Federal Reserve’s tough stance on rate policy — may be in the rearview mirror.
“It’s hard sometimes in the moment to recognize when something has significantly changed, [but] I think there was a tremor on Tuesday, and things have changed,” EMJ Capital founder and president Eric Jackson said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday. “The Fed has done a Punxsutawney Powell, and gone back into hibernation for I think the next six years.”
The question is whether traders will be able to maintain that optimism for the remainder of the month. In November, the S&P 500 is up 7.5%, while the Dow has a 5.7% gain. The Nasdaq has leapt 9.8%.
On Friday, investors will be eyeing housing starts and building permits data for October.