Investors are awaiting the Fed minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last June meeting for signs about when the central bank will raise short tem interest rates in 2015 as the U.S. economy improves following a slow first quarter that saw contracting GDP output of -2.9 percent due largely to severe winter weather.
The minutes will be released at 2:00p.m. EST.
On Thursday the U.S. Labor Department released a June employment report that showed the U.S. economy adding 288,000 non-farm payroll jobs while the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, the lowest level since 2008.
Over the past 3 months job growth has been robust, averaging 272,000 jobs per month.
The Dow and S&P 500 jumped on the positive jobs data, racing to record highs and leading investors to question whether the 2nd quarter corporate earnings season which kicked off yesterday will be strong enough to carry U.S. stock markets to new heights amid an improving U.S. economy that shows less of a need for monetary stimulus from the U.S. central bank as the job market stabilizes and inflation moves higher.
In May the consumer price index jumped to 0.4 percent, rising to the highest level since February 2013. Core CPI, an inflation reading that excludes food and energy, rose 0.3 percent, the largest increase since August 2011.