Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Stock futures were flat in early morning trading Wednesday after Wall Street broke into a range near record highs.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were just 14 points higher. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures also moved in slightly positive territory.
The S&P 500 and blue-chip Dow both closed near the flatline on Tuesday. The broad equity benchmark is now just 0.3% below its record high of 4,238.04 on May 7th. Investors wait for the next inflation measurement to assess whether the higher price pressures will be temporary as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic-induced recession.
“US stocks have been largely stuck in a range since mid-April and are unlikely to break out anytime soon,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a press release. “Investors want to see how hot the price pressures will get and how much downtrend in stocks will happen once the Fed’s taper rage begins.”
The consumer price index for May is due to be published on Thursday. According to the Dow Jones, economists expect the consumer price index to increase by 4.7% year-on-year. In April the CPI rose 4.2% on an annual basis, the fastest increase since 2008.
Meanwhile, the meme stock mania escalated further on Tuesday when day traders switched to Clover Health, which rose 96% in one session amid explosive trading volumes. Another name popular among Reddit traders, Wendy’s, gained 25% on Tuesday.
Still, many on Wall Street believe this episode should be limited to a handful of names, unlike the GameStop trading frenzy in January that affected the broader stock market.
“Given the low risk of widespread contagion, we see the consequences of the recent short squeeze as
“Maneesh Deshpande, Global Head of Equity Derivatives Strategy at Barclays, said in a press release.” The current short squeeze is likely to be more localized because the number of stocks with high short interests has decreased dramatically.
On the data front, job vacancies rose to a new record high in April, with 9.3 million jobs posted online as the economy recovered.