Futures edged down as investors awaited a key inflation reading and more earnings.

Still, the Dow and S&P 500 are set to post their biggest gains for the January-February period since before the pandemic.

Economists forecast the personal consumption expenditures price index-the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge-rose 0.3% in January from December.

The core index, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, is expected to have climbed 0.4%. Recent data have indicated the falloff in inflation over the past several months is stalling, undercutting hopes that the Fed will soon start cutting interest rates.

That hasn't derailed the market rally though, as investors focus on the strength of large tech stocks, including Nvidia.

In recent trading

Contracts tied to all three major stock indexes declined but were on track for monthly gains.

Bitcoin prices held above $62,000.

Yields on the benchmark 10-year note topped 4.3% again.

European bond yields and the euro climbed after inflation data from Spain, Germany and France. Falling food prices helped bring down the overall inflation rate, while prices in sectors such as services fell more slowly.

Overseas stocks were mixed. Indexes in Europe ticked higher while equities in Hong Kong and Tokyo slipped.

Premarket Movers

Fourth-quarter revenue at AMC Entertainment rose nearly but its CEO said the company benefited from deals to distribute the concert movies of Taylor Swift and Beyonce despite a "diminished box office overall." AMC shares fell 9.8%.

Shares of jumped 14% after it posted a fiscal third-quarter adjusted loss of 13 cents a share, narrower than analysts' forecasts.

Duolingo rose 21% after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat analysts' forecasts.

HP declined 2.4% after the company's fiscal first-quarter revenue fell from a year earlier and missed forecasts. The company said it continues to see softness in its personal computer business but expressing optimism that a rebound was in the offing.

Marathon Digital was down 2.6% in premarket trading. Through Wednesday, the stock has risen 395% over the past 12 months.

Okta said it expected fiscal first-quarter revenue and adjusted earnings above analysts' expectations. The stock rose 22%.

Salesforce was down 2.4% after it said it expected revenue below analysts' projections.

Shoals Technologies was down 19% after the company reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings that missed Wall Street estimates.

Snowflake fell 22% after the company's revenue outlook for the fiscal first quarter and year came up short of expectations, and the company announced that its chief executive was stepping down "effective immediately."

Post-Close Movers

DoubleVerify issued guidance for the first quarter and 2024 that missed analysts' expectations. Shares dropped 20%.

Vacasa said it would cut its workforce by 5% and lose its operating chief as it reported a big drop in revenue in the fourth quarter. Shares fell 18%.

WW International said that Oprah Winfrey planned to step down from the board in May. Shares fell 25%.

Watch For:

Personal Income and Outlays for January; Weekly Jobless Claims; Chicago Business Barometer - ISM-Chicago Business Survey - Chicago PMI for February; Canada GDP for December; Fed speakers include Austan Goolsbee, John Williams; earnings from Best Buy, Dell, Toronto-Dominion Bank

Today's Headlines/Must Reads:

- SEC Investigating Whether OpenAI Investors Were Misled

- Apple Investors Grow Impatient on Artificial Intelligence

- President's Physical Gives Only Partial View of Commander in Chief's Health



The dollar edged lower, knocked by gains in equities, but it could get a lift from the PCE inflation print, ING said, with the data likely sufficiently strong to show markets were right to have scaled back Fed rate cut expectations.

"Our expectations are for a 0.4% core month-on-month print, which in our view will endorse the recent hawkish repricing of Fed rate expectations. We see the dollar finding some support today on the back of the release."

The euro could benefit again if the national inflation figures surprise upwards, coming in above forecasts, Commerzbank Research said.

"That would at least be a clear indication that we will also see higher values tomorrow," Commerzbank said, referring to Friday's release of the flash estimate eurozone inflation data.

Higher-than-expected eurozone inflation could validate expectations that the European Central Bank is likely to wait some more before starting cutting interest rates.


Oil prices slipped on concerns over reduced demand following a larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stockpiles and ahead of the key inflation data.

However, losses were limited in Europe as prices continue to be supported by expectations that OPEC and its allies will extend their production cuts into the second quarter, a move that would likely tighten the market.


Metals were trading higher in London as investors awaited the PCE inflation data, and a softer print would put more Fed rate cuts back on the table, weaken the dollar, and boost commodity markets, Peak Trading Research said.


FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days to Come Up With Quality-Control Plan

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has asked Boeing to develop a comprehensive action plan within 90 days to address its systemic quality-control issues, after the midair blowout of a door plug on an Alaska Airlines jet last month.

"Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements," FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said Wednesday after meeting Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun and his senior safety team.

Alibaba Cuts China Cloud Prices to Rekindle Division's Growth

Alibaba Group will cut cloud product prices in China by up to 55% in an effort to boost a promising division whose sales have slowed in recent quarters amid rising competition.

The new prices, down 20% on average, will take effect Thursday and cover more than 100 product specifications under Alibaba Cloud's elastic compute service, object storage service and database product categories, the division said in a statement.

Bitcoin Is Rising Again. Why It Can Test an All-Time High.

The price of Bitcoin was back on the rise Thursday as the world's largest cryptocurrency pushed closer to its all-time high amid strong momentum and a series of recent catalysts.

The digital asset was trading at $62,400, up close to 6% over the past 24 hours. It briefly spiked above $64,000 Wednesday before falling back toward $60,000. Bitcoin has jumped 48% so far in 2024. Ether, the second-largest crypto, was rising 3.8% to $3,460. Other coins also were enjoying gains: Cardano was up 8%, Solana rose 15%, and Dogecoin was up 30%.

BOJ Board Member Calls for Discussion of Possible Exit From Monetary Easing

Bank of Japan policy board member Hajime Takata said Thursday that the central bank should start discussing details of a possible exit from its ultra-easy monetary policy.

"Achievement of our price goal is finally coming into sight," Takata said in a speech.

China's Crackdown on High-Frequency Trading Ensnares Another Firm

Chinese regulators have hit another firm with disciplinary action as they keep cracking down on high-frequency trading as part of efforts to stabilize equities markets.

The China Financial Futures Exchange said late Wednesday that Shanghai Weiwan Fund Management recently used high-frequency trading in stock futures to circumvent the trading-limit system trade, making 8.9 million yuan ($1.2 million) in profits.

Biden and Trump to Make Dueling Border Visits Amid Migrant Crisis

President Biden and former President Donald Trump will each visit the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday, as the two likely 2024 opponents seek to blame the other's party for record illegal crossings that are a top concern for voters.

Biden, who will make his second trip to the border as president, is expected to meet with Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and local leaders, while blaming Republicans for blocking a bipartisan border agreement in the Senate that would have allowed the government to expel migrants if crossings surpassed a daily threshold of 4,000. After months of negotiations, Republicans ultimately said the terms didn't go far enough.

Supreme Court to Decide on Trump Immunity Claim in 2020 Election Case

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court agreed to consider whether Donald Trump must stand trial on charges he plotted to overturn the 2020 election, after lower courts rejected his claim that he is entitled to absolute immunity because he was president at the time.

The court's move means it will have final say on an issue the judiciary never confronted before Trump. But it also means the former president has bought himself more months before any trial, which had been scheduled to start in early March before the immunity battle scuttled those plans.

Lawmakers Reach Deal to Avert Partial Government Shutdown This Weekend

Top congressional leaders unveiled a deal Wednesday to keep the federal government fully operating beyond Friday, when funding is scheduled to lapse for some agencies.

Leaders said they will hold votes on a stopgap bill this week to avoid any lapse in government funding, followed by votes next month on full-year spending bills.


Earnings [4Q unless stated otherwise]:


Badger Infrastructure Solutions

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 1Q

Canadian Natural Resources

Canadian Utilities

Crescent Point Energy

Cronos Group

Laurentian Bank of Canada 1Q

Lion Electric

Major Drilling Group 3Q

Martinrea International

MEG Energy

NFI Group



Toronto-Dominion Bank 1Q

Economic Calendar (ET):

0830 4Q Quarterly GDP

0830 Dec GDP

Stocks to Watch:

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

02-29-24 0612ET