Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on August 31, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Stock futures were near the flat line Thursday night as investors came off a mixed trading session and closed out a month that saw losses for all three stock indexes.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 53 points, or 0.15%. S&P 500 futures was up 0.12%, while Nasdaq 100 futures inched up by 0.04%.

Database software maker MongoDB and Dell Technologies advanced 4% and 7%, respectively, in extended trading on the back of stronger-than-expected earnings reports. Shares of athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica added 1% after crushing Wall Street’s estimates.

The moves follow a tumultuous month for stocks. Despite a recent string of positive sessions that helped stock indexes trim their monthly losses, the S&P 500 lost 1.77%, while the Nasdaq shed 2.17%. The 30-stock Dow dropped 2.36% in August.

Traders on Thursday sifted through new U.S. inflation data that showed cooling price increases. Core personal consumption expenditures, which are closely watched by the Federal Reserve for an indicator of inflation, increased 0.2% month over month in July and 4.2% year over year, matching estimates from economists polled by Dow Jones.

Investors now await non-farm payroll data due Friday morning. Economists polled by Dow Jones forecast 170,000 additions. Traders are holding onto hope that the report will indicate that the economy is slowing meaningfully, and ultimately give the central bank reason to pause benchmark interest rate hikes.

“We are in the camp that we will get at least one more rate hike out of the Fed,” said Alex McGrath, chief investment officer for NorthEnd Private Wealth, adding that recent increases in commodity prices will have a drag on personal consumption expenditures and consumer price index numbers from August to September.

“If you kind of get in that sticky range where inflation is not decreasing or even increasing slightly, I think that’s going spur further Fed action and whether that happens September or October, it’s anyone’s best guess,” McGrath said.



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