Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures rise ahead of Fed Chairman Powell’s speech
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA on Monday, August 23, 2021.
Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images
2. The inflation meter the Fed likes has seen the biggest surge since the 1990s
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell arrives for a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, DC on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Fed’s most popular inflation meter hit the market hot. The price index for private consumer spending in July rose by 4.2% year-on-year. The July core PCE, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 3.6% year-over-year, its highest level in decades. Rising inflation is worrying the markets. Powell has said in the past that while pricing pressure is increasing, it is temporary. A number of Fed officials speak before and after Powell’s 10 p.m. ET Friday. Speech. Investors hope the chairman will provide clues as to when central bankers might consider curbing pandemic-era bond purchases.
3. Oil rises as storm nears manufacturing center in the Gulf of Mexico
Pump jacks will operate near Loco Hills in Eddy County, New Mexico on April 23, 2020.
Paul Ratje | Getty Images
On track for strong weekly gains, U.S. oil prices rose 2% early Friday on concerns about short-term supply disruptions as energy companies began production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a possible hurricane forecast for this weekend to adjust. Offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico account for 17% of US crude oil production. More than 45% of total US refining capacity is along the Gulf Coast. Any move in the dollar on Powell’s speech could have an impact on oil prices.
4. US and allies warn of more likely terrorist attacks in Afghanistan
Injured people after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept.
Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The US and its allies are warning of further terrorist attacks in Kabul as Tuesday draws closer to the deadline for military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Two suicide bombers struck on Thursday near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where thousands of people are still hoping to be evacuated after the Taliban came to power. 13 US soldiers were among the more than 100 killed in the attacks. President Joe Biden on Thursday promised to complete the evacuations and hunt down ISIS-K leaders who took responsibility for the bombings.
5. Covid cases in the US are showing signs of slowing down, even as the number of deaths picks up again
New daily Covid cases are still on the rise in the US, climbing to its highest level since January to a seven-day average of nearly 156,000. That is 10% more than in the previous week. The seven-day average of new daily Covid deaths was 1,194. That is 39% more than in the previous week.
However, the rate of infection is showing signs of slowing, especially in some states hardest hit by the Delta variant. The US has seen a handful of dropouts during the pandemic. In January they peaked at a seven-day average of 251,000 per day. The curve in nationwide hospital admissions may also buckle as admissions growth appears to be slowing.
– Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all market activity like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with coronavirus coverage from CNBC.