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Wall St to open higher on debt ceiling deal hopes; inflation data limits gains

Kitco News

May 26 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to open higher on Friday on hopes that lawmakers were nearing a deal on raising the U.S. debt limit, while data pointing to slightly hotter-than-expected underlying inflation curbed gains.

After several rounds of negotiations, President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy are closing in on a deal to raise the government's $31.4 trillion debt limit for two years, while capping spending on most items.

Additionally, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo's comments in interviews on Friday that the lawmakers are making progress in reaching a deal aided market sentiment.

The S&P 500 index (.SPX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) are on course for their worst weekly performance in over two months as debt ceiling talks have been dragging on in Washington even as the June 1 deadline looms large.

The Dow has fallen for five straight sessions.

Data showed the Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, considered to be the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, remained at 0.4% for April.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the PCE price index, however, rose 0.4% last month, slightly above expectations of 0.3%.

Following the reading, traders of futures contracts tied to the Fed's policy rate boosted bets that the U.S. central bank is not yet done on raising interest rates.

"The PCE showed that inflation remains stubborn. It feels like we're getting the debt ceiling drama close to the finish line, but we still have to be concerned about what's next for the Fed," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B Riley Wealth.

Separately, the University of Michigan's final May reading of consumer sentiment is expected to remain unchanged at 57.7.

At 9:05 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 60 points, or 0.18%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.25 points, or 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 48.25 points, or 0.35%.

Among early movers, Ford Motor Co (F.N) gained 2.1% in premarket trading as it allowed its electric vehicle owners to gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Superchargers in North America in early 2024. Tesla shares rose 0.1%.

Apparel retailer Gap Inc (GPS.N) jumped 9.2% after reporting a surprise profit for the first quarter on Thursday.

Ulta Beauty Inc (ULTA.O) dropped 9.9% after the cosmetics retailer cut its annual operating margin forecast, weighed down by higher inventory shrink and supply chain costs.

Chipmaker Marvell Technology Inc (MRVL.O) jumped 18.4% after it forecast its annual artificial intelligence (AI) revenue would double.

This comes just as shares of the world's most valuable chipmaker, Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), hit a record high on Thursday after its bumper forecast. Nvidia shares were down 0.1%.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Maju Samuel
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