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Stock market today: Live updates

BusinessStock market today: Live updates

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Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Wednesday morning as investors looked toward the first potentially pivotal inflation report slated for release this week.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures both traded close to flatline points, whil Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.1%

Investors are eyeing the June consumer price index reading due before the bell Wednesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones anticipate the closely followed inflation indicator will rise 0.3% from May and 3.1% on an annualized basis. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI is forecasted to increase 0.3% on the month and 5% on the year.

June data for the producer price index — another well-watched gauge of inflation — is due Thursday before the bell. Both price indexes are being watched for tea leaves on the path of inflation, which investors see as potential harbingers for how the Federal Reserve will move interest rates going forward. The market is pricing in an approximately 92% chance the Fed raises interest rates at the July meeting, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool.

“Investors are looking ahead to tomorrow’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers, which could show that inflation is continuing to cool,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of the Independent Advisor Alliance. “But if it shows that inflation is remaining persistent, … that’s likely to force the Fed’s hand.”

Stocks finished higher in Tuesday’s session. The Dow finished more than 300 points higher, equating to a gain of about 0.9%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite advanced nearly 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.

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Elsewhere, investors will monitor comments from central bank officials including Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester throughout Wednesday for any insights into the state of U.S. economic policy.

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