US stock futures rise as Wall St hits record highs despite hawkish Fed

US stock futures rise as Wall St hits record highs despite hawkish Fed– U.S. stock index futures rose in evening deals on Wednesday, extending a record-high rally on Wall Street as soft inflation data largely supplanted hawkish messages from the Federal Reserve.

Gains were driven chiefly by technology stocks on hype over artificial intelligence, especially after market major Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced forays into the field.

S&P 500 Futures rose 0.1% to 5,435.0 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures rose 0.5% to 19,596.25 points by 19:18 ET (23:18 GMT). Dow Jones Futures fell 0.1% to 38,726.0 points.

Fed strikes hawkish chord, CPI inflation falls
The Fed kept interest rates steady as widely expected on Wednesday. But Chair Jerome Powell surprised markets by stating that the central bank was now set to cut rates only once this year, down from a prior estimate in March for three cuts.

The change in the Fed’s stance came as more members saw signs of higher inflation in the country, with some policymakers also calling for no cuts this year. The central bank also raised its inflation outlook for the year.

But the Fed’s hawkish messaging was somewhat offset by data showing consumer price index inflation eased slightly in May. A bulk of gains on Wall Street were triggered after the reading, amid optimism that disinflation remained on track.

Producer price index inflation data is due on Thursday and is set to offer more cues on overall inflation.

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs on tech gains
The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite both finished at record highs on Wednesday, buoyed chiefly by technology stocks amid persistent hype over AI.

Apple Inc earlier this week announced a slew of new AI features for its flagship devices, and that it was also partnering with OpenAI to implement some of the features. The stock surged 7%, briefly overtaking both NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to become the most valuable company on Wall Street.

This was accompanied by cloud giant Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) also announcing AI partnerships with Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc and Microsoft, which saw the stock rally 13% on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to 5,421.03 points, while the Nasdaq Composite surged 1.5% to 17,610.79 points. The economically sensitive Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, falling 0.1% to 38,712.21 points.

Losses in consumer stocks weighed on the Dow, as the softer CPI reading heralded a cooling in spending. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) was the biggest drag on the index.

Among after-hours movers, Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ:AVGO) surged over 14% after the chipmaker clocked bumper earnings on AI demand. The firm also announced a 10-for-1 stock split.

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