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Investors Await Inflation Report

U.S. stock index futures indicated a tentative start to Tuesday as investors awaited an inflation report that could influence the Federal Reserve’s rate decision. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures remained steady, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures saw modest gains.

Market Reaction to Earnings and Rate Hike Prospects

A recent rebound in major indexes was driven by a strong earnings season and the belief that interest rate hikes might be reaching a peak. However, Monday’s close saw the S&P 500 slightly lower, with the Nasdaq and Dow also showing mixed responses as focus shifted to the upcoming Consumer Price Index (CPI) data.

Inflation Expectations and Market Sentiment

Economists are forecasting a 3.3% rise in October’s CPI, a slight decrease from September. A higher-than-expected CPI could challenge the notion that the Fed is finished raising rates, while a lower figure might reinforce it. Currently, there’s an 86% chance that rates will hold steady in December, as projected by the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Credit Rating and Government Shutdown Concerns

Adding to market uncertainty, Moody’s downgraded the U.S. credit outlook to “negative,” citing fiscal deficits. This comes alongside concerns of a potential U.S. government shutdown, with contentious stopgap measures being discussed in Congress.

Corporate Earnings and Economic Indicators

On the corporate front, Home Depot will report earnings before Tuesday’s bell, with analysts anticipating a year-over-year decline. Additionally, economic data releases and Fed officials’ remarks throughout the day will be closely monitored for further market direction.

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