ECI Increases Less Than Expected


Stock index futures are lower today, after last week the S&P 500 advanced to a six-week high.

The employment cost index in the fourth quarter of 2022 increased 1.0% when up 1.1% was expected.

The 8:45 central time Chicago PMI is anticipated to be 45.1 and the 9:00 January consumer confidence index is predicted to be 109.0.

Today is the first day of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

This week is the busiest week for fourth quarter earnings releases with 107 S&P 500 companies reporting.

Stock index futures are likely to trade sideways as traders even up positions ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee statement and Fed Chair Powell’s press conference.


The U.S. dollar index is higher, although futures remain in a two-week trading range.

Interest rate differentials are neutral for the U.S. dollar.

The euro zone’s gross domestic product increased 0.1% from October to December, slowing from the 0.3% expansion recorded in the third quarter. The region’s economy expanded 3.5% in 2022 compared with a year ago. The fourth quarter reading beat economists’ forecasts of a 0.1% contraction.

The German unemployment rate was 5.5% in January, unchanged from December and was in line with economists’ expectations. The number of unemployed people fell 22,000 in January on the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, after decreasing 13,000 in December.

Traders are positioning for big monetary policy events this week, with the Federal Reserve decision due on Wednesday and both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank on Thursday. Both the BoE and the ECB are set to hike their key interest rates by 50 basis points.


The Federal Reserve will likely slow the pace of tightening at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday due to mounting evidence that inflation in the U.S has begun to ease.

According to financial futures markets, currently there is almost a 100% of probability that the Federal Open Market Committee will increase its fed funds rate by 25 basis points at the February 1 policy meeting.

The long term outlook for futures is higher.


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