From the Wall Street Journal’s “Stock Futures Tick Up Ahead of Jobless Claims Data” posted early Thursday:
Stocks are grinding higher this week, reflecting investors’ easing concerns about higher inflation and tighter monetary policy. Money managers are growing more assured that interest rates won’t rise for a while: that has sent technology stocks roaring higher in recent days and pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index to two consecutive all-time closing highs.
“In the context of strong growth, markets can digest slightly less supportive monetary policy,” said Sebastian Mackay, a multiasset fund manager at Invesco. “The outlook for earnings is still pretty strong, I think central banks can afford to think about removing some of what’s been put in place.”
The latest data on jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, is due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The figures released last week showed an unexpected increase, suggesting that the path to a full recovery still faces uncertainties and potential setbacks. Economists expect that filings for new jobless claims resumed their decline for the week ended June 18.
“The labor market is pivotal, it is clearly one of the targets of the Federal Reserve,” said Monica Defend, global head of research at Amundi. “It’s what is restraining the Fed from acting more boldly.”
My take: “Grinding higher” is a good way to put it.