US Stock Futures Rise on Cooling Inflation and Biden-Trump Debate Fallout

Futures for the S&P 500 (ES=F) gained about 0.3% on Friday, following the benchmark’s approach towards its record high. Nasdaq 100 contracts (NQ=F) also rose by 0.4%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) held steady.

As the markets eye a positive conclusion to a turbulent week, marked by a rebound from a three-day decline for the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC), investors remain cautious amid concerns of potential pullbacks later in the year.

Closing out the first half of the year, attention focused on the latest data from the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, showing a slowdown in May as prices saw their smallest increase since March 2021. The core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, excluding food and energy costs, rose 0.1% month-over-month, aligning with market expectations.

Additionally, with the US presidential election looming as a significant risk factor, investors reacted to President Joe Biden’s lackluster performance in his first debate with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Trump’s proposed policies, including tax cuts and trade restrictions, are viewed favorably by the market, reflected in pre-market gains for Trump Media & Technology Group (DJT).

Meanwhile, concerns over consumer spending resilience persisted as major companies like Nike (NKE) and Walgreens (WBA) reported subdued sales prospects, impacting their stock performances ahead of market open.