U.S. stock futures were little changed during early trading on Thursday after the Nasdaq Composite rose for the third session despite a red-hot consumer price index report.
Dow futures were up just 2 points. S&P 500 futures were up 2.5 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 18 points.
Shares of homebuilder KB Home rallied more than 6% in after hours trading after reporting better-than-expected earnings.
On Wenesday the major averages rose despite the hefty print from the CPI inflation report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped about 38 points and the S&P 500 added 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite rose for the third straight day, climbing 0.2%.
The December consumer price index, a key inflation measure, increased 7%, according to the departement’s of Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a monthly basis, CPI increased 0.5%. Economists expected the consumer price index to rise 0.4% in December, and 7% on a year-over-year basis, according to Dow Jones.
The annual move was the fastest increase since June 1982.
“Stocks shook off the sticker shock of the historically high inflation number, but that was also widely expected and incredibly a non-event today really,” said Ryan Detrick of LPL Financial. “What we are excited about is earnings season is right around the corner. We expect another solid showing by corporate America, while it will also be a chance to stop focusing so much on the Fed and policy, but instead get under the hood and see how the economy is really doing.”
The December producer price index, another measure of inflation, is then set to come out on Thursday morning.
Also on the data front, initial jobless claims for the week ending Jan. 8 will be released at 8:30 a.m. Economists polled by Dow Jones forecast 200,000 people filed for unemployment, down from the previous week’s 207,000.
Fourth quarter earnings season kicks off this week with several major banks reporting on Friday before the bell.
Delta Air Lines will report on Thursday morning. Wall Street expects Delta to put up a per-share profit and revenue that’s more than double year-ago levels.
“The stock market is of course still vulnerable near-term to a bad PPI inflation report, but earnings season is about to begin and given how strong economic growth was in the fourth quarter, expect more evidence of ongoing solid company earnings to help soothe contemporary Fed tightening and inflation fears,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for the Leuthold Group.
For the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up 1.1% and 1.7%, respectively. The Dow is up slightly since Monday.