Stock futures nudge higher ahead of busy earnings day

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Stock futures rose on Monday evening as traders navigate one of the busiest weeks of corporate earnings season.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 98 points, or 0.3%, while those for the S&P 500 climbed 0.4%. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.5%.

The move in futures comes after a slightly down day for stocks. The Dow and Nasdaq Composite each dipped 0.1%, while the S&P 500 inched lower by 0.02%.

The major indexes have been grinding lower as the first-quarter earnings season heats up. Before the bell on Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson and insurance giant Travelers will report their latest results. Other notable reports include Hasbro, Lockheed Martin, and multiple mid-sized banks such as Citizens Financial.

With inflation and the Federal Reserve’s next steps a key debate in markets, investors are watching for insight into how supply chains and consumer demand are performing for major companies. Expectations for Fed hikes have risen sharply in recent months, though the central bank has said it will be data dependent in deciding how it will hike rates throughout the year.

“Can the Fed raising rates actually solve some of the shortages we have with labor, with semiconductors, with wheat? Probably not. So maybe they’re going to act a little bit less aggressively in the end than some people think,” said Adam Parker of Trivariate Research on “Closing Bell: Overtime.”

The concern about the Fed’s next steps have caused high volatility in the bond market as well, which appears to have weighed on stocks in recent weeks. On Monday, the 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest level in three years. St. Louis Fed president James Bullard told CNBC’s Steve Liesman on Monday that “quite a bit has been priced in” in terms of Fed actions.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, investors will get an updated look at the housing market with housing starts and building permits for March.

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