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Wall St eyes lower open as inflation data stokes rate hike worries


Wall Street benchmark indexes were set to open lower on Friday after a higher-than-expected rise in monthly producer prices fanned fears that the Federal Reserve could stick to aggressive interest rate hikes for longer.

The Labor Department’s report showed producer prices rose 7.4% last month on an annual basis compared with economists’ expectations of 7.2%, although lower than the 8% rise seen in October.

Core producer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy components, jumped 6.2% compared with estimates of a 5.9% rise.

“It is disappointing and it shows that we are stuck on the treadmill of inflation and I’m not surprised to see the market sell off like it is right now,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield.

Consumer prices data for November, due Tuesday, will provide further clues on the central bank’s monetary tightening plans next week.

Most mega-cap technology and growth stocks such as Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), Tesla Inc and (AMZN.O) fell between 0.3% and 1.3% in premarket trading as U.S. Treasury yields rose following the data.

Producer prices data follows strong monthly jobs and service-sector activity reports last week, adding to concerns about aggressive rate hikes.

Expectations of a 50-basis-point rate hike next week by the Fed held at around the same level as the report also showed that underlying trend in inflation had moderated.

The U.S. central bank has raised its policy rates by 75 basis points for four straight months through November to 3.75%-4.00%.

Wall Street’s main indexes have come under pressure in December after two consecutive months of gains on fears of a potential recession next year fueled by the extended U.S. rate hikes as well as downbeat comments from top executives.

U.S. stocks snapped a recent run of losses on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims modestly rose last week, suggesting the labor market was deteriorating.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary December reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment is expected to have improved after slumping in November. The data is due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

At 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 154 points, or 0.46%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 22 points, or 0.55%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 72.75 points, or 0.62%.

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) gained 2.2% after Wells Fargo upgraded the streaming giant’s stock to “overweight” from “equal weight”, while Carvana Co (CVNA.N) dropped 8% after Jefferies halved the price target for the used-car retailer’s stock.

Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O) inched up 2.8% after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates.

Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O) slipped 7.2% after the athletic apparel maker forecast lower-than-expected holiday-quarter revenue and profit.

U.S.-listed China stocks rose on optimism over China’s COVID policy pivot. Internet firm Bilibili Inc advanced 3.6%, while search engine giant Baidu Inc climbed 2.3%.

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 22, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid