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Futures rise as focus shifts to inflation data, Fed meet

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday ahead of inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision this week, while Biogen shares gained in premarket trading after the U.S. FDA panel backed its Alzheimer’s drug.

Investors are on the watch for the U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index reading on Tuesday, also the first day of the Fed’s meeting, for clues on the U.S. monetary policy path.

The data is expected to show inflation cooled slightly in May but core prices are likely to have remained elevated.

Traders see a nearly 79% chance of the central bank pausing rate hikes in its June meeting, while pricing in a 56% chance of a 25-basis-point increase in July, according to the CME Fedwatch tool.

The benchmark S&P 500 notched gains for a fourth straight week on Friday, building on a 20% rise from its October 2022 lows, heralding the start of a new bull market as defined by some market participants.

A rally in megacap stocks, better-than-expected quarterly earnings and hopes that the Fed might be nearing the end of its tightening cycle have caused indexes to rise in recent weeks.

Since last week, the rally has broadened beyond megacaps to include more economically sensitive sectors such as energy, industrial as well as small-cap stocks as data continues to show a resilient U.S. economy despite higher interest rates.

At 5:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 28 points, or 0.08%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.25 points, or 0.24%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 67.5 points, or 0.46%.

The CBOE volatility index edged up after hitting pre-pandemic levels in the previous week, up 0.7 point at 14.53.

FDA advisers supported the approval of Biogen and Eisai’s Alzheimer’s drug, sending the former’s shares up 4.6% before the bell.

Adobe shares gained 1.8% after Jefferies set the Street’s second highest price target for the Photoshop software maker, at $530.

Oracle rose 3.4% as J.P. Morgan hiked the cloud and enterprise software firm’s price target to $109, ahead of its fourth-quarter results later in the day.

U.S.-listed shares of Nio added 4.3% after the Chinese EV maker slashed prices on its cars as lukewarm sales pressure the company.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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