Stock Futures Tick Higher Ahead of Retail Sales Data – The Wall Street Journal

U.S. stock futures edged higher Tuesday ahead of fresh data that will indicate how much Americans spent in stores, at restaurants and online last month.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up 0.1%, indicating that the broad benchmark index is on track to notch its thirtieth record close of the year. Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.2%, pointing to gains in technology stocks after the opening bell.

Investors expect that stocks will climb through the rest of the year due to easy monetary policies. Many people are also betting that higher inflation, due to the easing of economic restrictions and supply-chain bottlenecks, will be temporary. Signs that inflation will be elevated for a prolonged period or that the Federal Reserve may retrace its support could shake that confidence, money managers said.

“Investors seem a bit more convinced the Fed will do what it says it is going to do and stay put,” said Edward Smith, head of asset allocation research at U.K. investment firm Rathbone Investment Management. “That should mean we have relatively easy financial conditions and that should be good for equity markets.”

Data on Americans’ retail spending last month are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect retail sales to have fallen as auto sales declined, fiscal support for consumers faded and Americans shifted their spending toward services and away from goods.