Here are the most important news, trends and analysis investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures rise ahead of Fed Chief Powell’s speech
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, United States, on Monday, August 23, 2021.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
2. The inflation gauge the Fed likes came out before the bell
Jerome Powell, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, arrives for a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, DC on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Fed’s favorite inflation gauge was released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect the personal consumption expenditure price index for July to rise 3.6% year-over-year, roughly the same amount as the month before. Rising inflation has been a concern in the markets. Powell has said in the past that if price pressures increase, they are transient. A number of Fed officials are speaking on Friday before and after Powell at 10 a.m.ET. speech. Investors are hoping the president will provide guidance on when central bankers might consider cutting bond purchases in the era of the pandemic.
3. Oil climbs as storm approaches Gulf of Mexico production center
Pump jacks operate near Loco Hills on April 23, 2020 in Eddy County, New Mexico.
Paul Ratje | Getty Images
U.S. oil prices, on track for strong weekly gains, rose 2% on Friday morning amid concerns over short-term supply disruptions as energy companies began shutting down production in the Gulf from Mexico before a potential hurricane hits this weekend. Offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico represent 17% of US crude oil production. Over 45% of total US refining capacity is located along the Gulf Coast. Any dollar movement on Powell’s speech could impact oil prices.
4. United States and Allies Warn Against Terrorist Attacks in Afghanistan
Wounded are taken to hospital according to an unknown number of casualties reported after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadate | Agence Anadolu | Getty Images
The United States and its allies have warned that more terrorist attacks in Kabul are likely, as Tuesday’s deadline for the military withdrawal from Afghanistan approaches. Two suicide bombers struck Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, where thousands still hope to be evacuated after the Taliban took control of the country. Thirteen US servicemen were among the more than 100 killed in the attacks. President Joe Biden on Thursday promised to complete the evacuations and hunt down the leaders of ISIL-K, which claimed responsibility for the attacks.
5. Covid cases in the United States show signs of slowing down, even as deaths rise again
Daily new cases of Covid are still on the rise in the United States, reaching their highest level since January for a seven-day average of nearly 156,000. That’s a 10% increase from the previous week. The seven-day average of new daily Covid deaths was 1,194. That’s 39% more than the week before.
The rate of infections, however, is showing signs of slowing, especially in some of the states hardest hit by the delta variant. The United States has seen a handful of spikes in cases throughout the pandemic. They peaked at a seven-day average of 251,000 per day in January. The nationwide hospitalization curve may also bend, as admissions growth appears to be slowing.
– Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all market actions like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest pandemic news with CNBC’s coronavirus coverage.