Stocks Push Gains, Inflation, Peloton, Oracle And Starbucks In Focus – Five Things To Know

Stock futures add to gains ahead of inflation data; Headline CPI may tumble, but core likely sticky; Peloton slides as co-founders depart; Oracle bumps higher on cloud revenue forecast and Starbucks investor day to guide new CEO strategy.

Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, September 13:

1. — Stock Futures Add To Gains Ahead of Inflation Data

U.S. equity futures advanced for a fifth consecutive session Tuesday, while the dollar eased and Treasury yields steadied ahead of what could be a pivotal reading of domestic inflation for the world’s biggest economy. 

Investors are looking for today’s August inflation data to indicate peak price pressures in the U.S. economy, thanks in part to tumbling gas prices and the unravelling of supply chain disruptions. 

The Federal Reserve’s resolve in both fighting the impact of the fastest inflation in four decades, as well as its reluctance to believe in moderating CPI levels without “compelling” evidence of a downturn, will likely mean Tuesday’s data has little effect on the size of next week’s interest rate hike.

The CME Group’s FedWatch, in fact, still suggests an 88% chance of a 75 basis point rate hike, the third in succession, with traders pricing in the likelihood of a Fed Funds rate that could top out at 4% by early next year. 

That could be why the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its global peers, has fallen so sharply over the past week, as investors see a near-term Fed pivot while central banks in Britain, Europe and elsewhere continue to deliver hawkish rate hike rhetoric. 

The dollar index was marked 0.23% lower in the overnight session at 108.078, with 2-year Treasury note yields holding at 3.534%. 

A weaker-than-expected auction of $32 billion in new 10-year notes yesterday, however, suggests investors remain uneasy about growth and inflation prospects, as foreign buyers backed away from the sale and overall demand slumped to a multi-month low.

The dollar’s overnight weakness, however, gave overseas markets a lift, with the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index gaining 0.68% into the close of trading and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rising 0.25%. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 benchmark gained 0.3% in early Frankfurt trading.

On Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the S&P 500 are indicating a 22 point opening bell gain while those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are priced for a 160 point advance. Futures linked to the tech-focused Nasdaq are indicating a 70 point move to the upside.

2. — Headline CPI May Tumble, But Core Likely Sticky 

Big declines in used car prices, airfares and gasoline is likely to pull headline inflation markedly lower when data from the Commerce Department for the month of August is published before the start of trading.

Economists looking for a month-on-month decline in consumer price pressures of around 0.1%, taking the annual rate down to around 8.1%, amid a big decline in gas prices — which were down as much as 84% from their early June highs by the end of the month — and falling airfares and used car costs. 

So-called core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, is likely to remain closer to July levels, but there are big differences in terms of analysts’ forecasts following data from the New York Fed yesterday showing a steep decline in consumer price expectations for the coming year. 

“The contrast between the
numbers for the past two months and the string of big
increases since the turn of the year will be striking,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics. “Still,
Fed officials, especially Chair Powell, have made it clear that the need to see a sustained improvement in
the monthly core numbers before they are prepared to
slow the pace of tightening.”

3. — Peloton Slides As Co-Founders Depart

Peloton Interactive  (PTON) – Get Peloton Interactive Inc. Report shares slipped lower in pre-market trading after the connected fitness group said co-founders John Foley and Hisao Kushi would leave the group as part of its broader restructuring effort.

Foley, who was been with Peloton since 2012, was replaced as CEO by Barry McCarthy earlier this year under pressure from disgruntled shareholders hoping to find a turnaround in the stock’s post-pandemic fortunes.

His role as executive chair will be filled by current board member Karen Boone.

Kushi, Peloton chief legal officer, will also be leaving the company, with former Uber Technologies executive Tammy Albarrán tabbed as his replacement. 

Last week, Peloton cautioned that it received a notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) alleging it had failed to meet statutory obligations with respect to the safety of its Tread+ treadmill which was recalled in May of last year following a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a young child. 

Peloton said the CPSC intends to recommend civil monetary penalties as a result.

Peloton shares were marked 2.3% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $10.80 each.

4. — Oracle Bumps Higher On Cloud Revenue Forecast

Oracle Corp.  (ORCL) – Get Oracle Corporation Report shares moved higher in pre-market trading after the cloud-focused software group posted weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings but forecast solid near-term revenues.

Oracle said the impact of its $28 billion purchase of Cenrer, the second-largest designer of software used by doctors and hospitals to mange and store medical records, added heft to the group’s overall bottom line, which came in at $1.03 per share. But for an 8 cent headwind from the surging dollar, that would have topped the Street consensus forecast of $1.07 per share.

Group revenues were firm at $11.45 billion, rising 17% from last year and matching analysts’ estimates, with the group forecasting constant currency revenue growth of between 21% and 23% for the current three month period.

Oracle shares were marked 1.4% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $78.15 each..

5. — Starbucks Investor Day To Guide New CEO Strategy

Starbucks  (SBUX) – Get Starbucks Corporation Report shares edged higher in pre-market trading ahead of the group’s much-anticipated investor day presentation later in the session. 

Starbucks, which forecast long-term earnings growth of between 10% and 12% during and investor presentation last December, will soon be under new leadership following the appointment of Laxman Narasimhan as CEO.

Narasimhan, the former CEO of Reckitt, will replace Howard Schultz in April of next year, but will work with the group founder as part of a multi-month transition.

One of Narasimhan’s early tasks, however, will be to repair an increasingly antagonistic relationship with union-supporting employees around the country.  

Last month, the Workers United union representing employees at around 200 stores organized walk-outs in Seattle and Kansas City over safety and food standards concerns and urged the National Labor Relations Board to allow union elections.

Starbucks halted union elections in August, however, telling the NLRB that Workers United agents were manipulating votes. 

Starbucks shares were marked 0.2% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $89.24 each.

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