Stock market looks hopeful as large corporations show strength 

Wall Street pointed toward gains before markets opened today ahead of a closely watched U.S. inflation report, according to the Associated Press. Futures for the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 each climbed 0.5% before the opening bell.

The U.S. government gave its monthly update on the inflation at the consumer level. Economists expected to see a small acceleration to 3.3% in July from 3% in June, and it actually rose 3.2% year over year. U.S. Federal Reserve officials have said repeatedly that their upcoming decisions on interest rates would depend on the latest economic data, especially for inflation and the job market.

A hot reading on inflation would certainly support the view that the Fed’s job in battling inflation is far from done and that it may have to keep hiking interest rates. At least, it could push the Fed to keep rates high for longer than expected.

The U.S. will also release weekly jobless claims figures today. The U.S. job market has remained very strong, defying Fed attempts to cool off hiring as part of its campaign, and while major corporate acquisitions have slowed somewhat, they are still arriving.

This morning, Tapestry, the parent company of luxury handbag and accessories retailer Coach, announced that it is buying Capri Holdings, which owns the Michael Kors, Versace, and Jimmy Choo brands. The $8.5 billion deal puts Tapestry in a better position to take on big European fashion rivals, such as LVMH and Kering.

The Walt Disney Company is up more than 1% after CEO Bob Iger vowed to make its streaming services profitable through an October price hike on its ad-free Disney+ and Hulu plans and a crackdown on password-sharing expected to extend through next year.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 43 cents to $83.97 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, retreated 24 cents to $87.31 a barrel. In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 143.84 Japanese yen from 143.67 yen.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% and has now dropped six of the last seven days. The Dow fell 0.5% after flipping between gains and losses through the day. The Nasdaq composite finished 1.2% lower.