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Stock Market

Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Investing.com - Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow. 1. Core CPI Expected to Rise Retail

Investing.com - Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Core CPI Expected to Rise

Retail inflation numbers will be the focus of the economic calendar before the bell tomorrow.

The Labor Department will issue the December consumer price index (CPI) report at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT).

On average, economists expect that the CPI fell 0.1% last month. But the core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is forecast to have risen 0.2% in December.

On an annual basis the core CPI is expected to post a rise of 2.2%, slightly above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

Fed speakers, especially chief Jay Powell, have been having much more sway on the markets than economic indicators of late. But it’s important to note that the FOMC’s patience that Powell discussed will also make the Fed more data-dependent.

2. GM Hosts Investor Webcast

General Motors (NYSE:GM) will host a webcast for analysts and institutional investors tomorrow.

The even kicks off at 10 AM ET (15:00 GMT) and is scheduled to last until 12:15 PM ET. Investors should be on the lookout for headlines from the automaker or can listen to the entire webcast here.

Today, Ford (NYSE:F) announced it would cut thousands of jobs in its turnaround plan for Europe.

GM issues its latest earnings on Feb. 6 and analysts are expecting a profit of $1.21 per share on sales of about $36 billion.

Shares of GM are down about 20% in the last year, but are up around 6% in the last three months.

3. Can Oil Muster Another Gain?

Oil prices have been on a tear, but bullish momentum slipped a little today, with WTI futures ending just slightly higher.

Still, oil is up 10% this week, on track for its best weekly gain since November 2016.

"(T)he bulls are trying to keep it together and waiting for the next big driver to emerge," said Gene McGillian, director of energy research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn.

Barring some more comments from the Saudis to firm prices even more, attention will likely be on the Baker Hughes rig count number that arrives at 1 PM ET (18:00 GMT).

Last week the rig count stood at 877.