US futures head higher despite hot inflation print

US stock futures rose on Thursday, with momentum returning despite hotter-than-expected wholesale inflation that served as one of the last pieces of data that could influence the Federal Reserve at next week's policy meeting.

S&P 500 futures (^GSPC) rose 0.3%, signaling a potential bid for its 18th record close this year. Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures rose nearly 0.4%, or more than 100 points.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) also rose 0.4%, bouncing back after Nvidia (NVDA) and Tesla (TSLA) pulled stocks lower on Wednesday.

The producer price index for February rose 0.6%, higher than the expected increase of 0.3%. Investors were watching whether inflation cooled fast enough to satisfy Federal Reserve policymakers and herald lower interest rates. However, the market ignored signs of steady inflation in Tuesday's CPI report and held on to its hopes for a policy change by the summer.

Meanwhile, retail sales rose 0.6%, below estimates of a 0.8% rise. Eyes were closely watching the release of data on Thursday, searching for signs of the health of the US economy before the central bank's two-day meeting next week.

In commodities, oil prices continued to rise after the International Energy Agency warned that supply would decline this year and US inventories shrank. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CL=F) traded just above $80 a barrel and touched their highest levels since November, while Brent crude futures (BZ=F) rose toward $85.

On the corporate front, shares of Fisker ( FSR ) fell nearly 40% pre-market after a Wall Street Journal report that the electric car maker is exploring a bankruptcy filing.

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He lives1 update

  • Retail sales rebound

    Retail sales rebounded in February after seeing their biggest decline in nearly a year during the previous month.

    Retail sales rose 0.6% in February from the previous month, according to Census Bureau data. Economists had expected a 0.8% increase in spending, according to Bloomberg data. January retail sales previously posted a surprise decline of -1.1%.

    February sales, excluding autos and gas, rose 0.3%, in line with estimates.

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