Stock market news today: S&P 500, Nasdaq futures slip with inflation, US downgrade in focus

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Stock futures slipped Monday as investors geared up for a key US inflation reading and a week packed with potential insight on how consumers are holding up in the face of high borrowing costs.

S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures fell roughly 0.2%, starting the week on a downbeat note after US indexes rebounded Friday to close out a second week of gains. Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures were broadly unchanged, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) lost around 0.3%.

Front of mind is the October Consumer Price Index report due Tuesday, a key input for the Federal Reserve in its interest-rate decisions. Several Fed officials’ comments last week kept the door open for more rate hikes, dampening the optimism for an easing in tightening that has helped buoy stocks.

Adding to the cautious tone were concerns about the US government’s finances, after Moody’s changed its outlook on its debt to “negative” from “stable” and as another shutdown deadline looms on Friday. Lawmakers lack the will to resolve the fiscal crisis, as the debt situation is made worse by high interest rates, former Fed official Bill Dudley warned.

A stream of consumer-focused earnings from big-box retailers could inject some cheer this week, with Home Depot (HD), Target (TGT), and Walmart (WMT) among the highlights. Monday’s docket includes results from Fisker (FSR) and Tyson (TSN). Eyes will be on what the financial updates reveal about American consumers, after economic data showed they feels worse about the state of the US economy.

Eyes are likely to also turn to President Joe Biden’s face-to-face meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday, their first in a year. The superpowers’ recent fraught relationship is seen as a risk to an already stuttering global economy.

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