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S&P 500, Nasdaq futures edge higher as CPI day arrives

US stock futures rose on Tuesday, with techs eyeing a bounce back ahead of a key inflation print that will help set expectations for the timing of a Federal Reserve shift to cutting interest rates.

S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures edged up 0.2%, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) added 0.4% after two days of losses. Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures were little changed.

Stocks face a crucial test in the Consumer Price Index release due at 8:30 a.m. ET., one of the most important data inputs for the Fed in deciding its next policy move. The report is expected to show a gain of 0.4% in February, compared with a 0.3% rise the month before.

Any surprise could prove a catalyst for stocks, given Fed policymakers have said they want to be sure inflation is easing before beginning to bring rates down from their historically high level. S&P 500 traders are hedging moves of 0.9% in either direction, a big shift that promises volatility around the data.

Meanwhile, bitcoin (BTC-USD) continued its record-setting rally with a rise to $72,240. Surging inflows into crypto assets have helped the leading token to notch an almost 70% gain this year so far, prompting bulls to predict bitcoin could reach as high as $350,000 this year.

On the corporate front, Oracle (ORCL) shares jumped 13% in premarket trade on signs the database giant is making progress in cloud computing amid a tie-up with AI chip giant Nvidia (NVDA).

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  • 3 reasons why Apple’s stock is sucking wind

    Apple’s (AAPL) stock has been looking a little less sweet in the past month.

    Shares of the tech beast are off by 8.5%, lagging the S&P 500’s 1.8% advance. The pundits have pointed to disappointment over Apple not yet revealing its AI plans as the main reason for the stock’s weakness. Concern on the pace of China demand hasn’t helped sentiment, either.

    But there may be more at play here, points out EvercoreISI tech analyst Amit Daryanani in a new note to clients this morning.

    Daryanani shares three reasons behind the Apple sell-off:

    “We have fielded a large number of investor questions around what could unlock the upside on the stock and help drive the momentum back up. Overarchingly, we think there are three things that’s driven the “underperformance’ for AAPL over the last few weeks – 1) Risk On + Skew to Nvidia/AI: Heard this a LOT from investors that want to go overweight “AI” names like Nvidia (NVDA) especially on the mega cap side, which makes them more comfortable taking dollars away from AAPL. 2) China Worries – There continues to be data sets that suggests that China demand is broadly soft and within smartphones Apple is perhaps ceding back some of the share and 3) Regulatory worries – That continue to impede comfort around Apple. Notably, we have heard worry around DOJ/Google implications and also EU anti trust issues.”

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