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Fed’s Cautious Tone on Inflation Sends Futures Down

U.S. stock index futures fell slightly on Monday as hawkish comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve official dampened hopes for a less aggressive pace of monetary policy tightening, Reuters reports. Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said Sunday that markets should now pay attention to the “end point” of rate hikes, not the pace of each move, and the end point is probably “a way to go”.

The comments from Waller, a voting member of the rate-setting committee this year, follow weaker-than-expected inflation data for October that led to a euphoric market rally last week, with the S&P 500 recording its biggest weekly percentage gains in about five years. month.

“The message is coming loud and clear from the Fed, investors should holding firm against expectations of monetary policy easing“said Susannah Streeter, principal investment and market analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Traders now expect the Fed to hike interest rates by half a point in December and expect a terminal rate in the range of 4.75% to 5.0% in May 2023 .

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 82 points, or 0.24%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.35%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 71.5 points, or 0.60%.

Growth stocks returned some gains from last week, with Apple Inc, Intel Corp and down about 1% each in premarket trading.

Tesla Inc fell about 2% as Chief Executive Elon Musk said “I have too much work on my plate” when asked about his recent acquisition of Twitter and his leadership of the electric vehicle maker.

Over the coming week, investors will be watching a series of economic data closely, including retail sales figures on Wednesday.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden met on Monday for long-awaited talks that come as relations between their countries are at a decades-old low, marred by disagreements over a host of issues from Taiwan to trade.

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