Stock market news today: Stocks in holding pattern ahead of CPI report

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US stock futures were little changed Tuesday as investors trod carefully ahead of the October inflation reading, which could influence the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures were broadly flat after logging gains on Monday — the only major US index to close with a win. Benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures hovered above the flatline, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) added almost 0.2%.

Trading has been muted as the market is seen as holding off in the wait for the monthly US Consumer Price Index report, due before the bell Tuesday. Headline inflation is expected to have slowed to 3.3% as energy costs dropped.

A higher CPI reading than expected would likely undermine faith in the idea the Fed is done with rate hikes, while a lower one could cement those hopes, which have supported stocks in recent sessions.

On the corporate side, Home Depot’s (HD) quarterly earnings results showed a smaller-than-expected decline in same-store sales. The home-improvement retailer will lead out reports from the likes of Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) this week. While consumer spending has held up in the face of higher borrowing costs, that hasn’t translated to a boost for retail stocks broadly.

Elsewhere, eyes are watching for signs of warming relations between the US and China at the APAC summit in San Francisco, where President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are set to meet face to face on Wednesday. They are expected to announce an agreement for China to crack down on the manufacture and export of fentanyl, Bloomberg reported.

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