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Investing.com — Investors will be monitoring the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes for any fresh insights into the future trajectory of interest rates in the week leading up to the upcoming holidays. Retailers are getting ready for what they expect to be another successful holiday shopping period. Nvidia is the final megacap company to disclose its earnings and oil prices are set to remain unstable. Here’s a brief overview of what you need to know to kick off your week.
Federal Reserve minutes
The Fed is set to release its Oct. 31-Nov. 1 meeting minutes on Tuesday, a day earlier than usual, due to this week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Recent indications of a slowdown in inflation have raised hopes that the US central bank is prepared to hike rates, and investors will scrutinize the minutes for hints about the direction policymakers may lean towards.
Last Friday, Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr remarked that he believes the Fed is at or near the peak of interest rate hikes. However, San Francisco Fed chief Mary Daly and Boston Fed Chair Susan Collins have advocated for a sustained effort to combat inflation, underscoring the necessity for additional evidence.
On the economic data front, figures are scheduled for release on Tuesday, followed by weekly government statistics and October data on the following day.
US retailers are gearing up for Black Friday, which signals the commencement of the crucial holiday shopping season after Thanksgiving, at a time when investors are questioning the durability of the consumer-driven US economy.
This year’s Black Friday arrives against a backdrop of high interest rates and inflation, which, while subdued, remains above the Fed’s 2% target.
Data from last week showed that US dropped in October for the first time in seven months, indicating a deceleration in demand, although the decline was less than anticipated.
Retailers have cautioned that this year’s holiday season is anticipated to be less robust than in previous years. Walmart (NYSE:) stated on Thursday that as the holiday season kicks off, consumers are exercising more restraint in their spending, even as the largest U.S. retailer revised its sales and profit projections upwards for the year.
Positive sentiment in equities
Investor confidence in equities has seen an uptick over the past few weeks, with the market rebounding after several months of decline from August to October. The pullback in Treasury yields, which had been steadily rising over the past few months and weighing on stocks, has provided additional support amid expectations of a Fed rate hike.
Last week, The and Rack recorded gains for the third consecutive week. It marked the longest winning streak for the S&P and the Dow since July, and for the Nasdaq, it was the most prolonged weekly gain since June.
Investor focus this week will be on chip company Nvidia (NASDAQ:), which is due to announce its latest earnings report on Tuesday. This marks the final earnings release of the Magnificent Seven megacap companies, whose shares have surged this year, propelling the equity index higher.
Oil price movements
Oil prices surged by over 4% on Friday, after hitting a four-month low in the preceding session, as investors who had adopted short positions secured profits and in light of US sanctions on certain Russian oil shippers, which provided additional support.
Despite this, both oil benchmarks closed the week with over a 1% decline, marking the fourth consecutive weekly drawback, primarily driven by rising inventories and continued record-high production.
The deepening property crisis in China and a slowdown in industrial growth also had an impact.
With Brent below $80, numerous analysts are anticipating that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will extend production cuts through 2024 when the group convenes later this month.
The eurozone is slated to release purchasing managers’ index data for November on Thursday, with economists not anticipating any substantial upturn in activity. The bloc is also set to unveil data on Wednesday, with the closely watched German data scheduled for release on Friday.
The European Central Bank’s latest will be published on Wednesday, a day after its October policy meeting.
ECB President Christine is scheduled to speak in Berlin on Tuesday and again at an event in Frankfurt on Friday, while several other ECB officials are also set to make appearances throughout the week.
–Reuters contributed to this report