U.S. stock futures rally ahead of inflation data; Eyes on Apple

Wall Street 

Markets poised to start the week on a positive note

U.S. stock markets look set to open in the green territory on Monday as traders await the release of U.S. inflation data, which could offer a glimpse at how the world’s largest economy is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts are expecting the latest inflation data, due Tuesday, to show the headline consumer price index (CPI) dropped slightly to 5.3% in August from a year earlier. This is slightly lower than July’s 5.4%.

Core CPI is forecast to come in at around 4.2%, which is above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.

At around 4:15 a.m. ET, futures for the blue-chip Dow were marked 178 points, or 0.51% higher to 34,785.

S&P 500 futures jumped 22 points, or 0.49% to 4,480.25 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 66.50 points, or 0.43% to 15,508.

On the commodities front, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 61 cents, or 0.87% to $70.33 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures rose 59 cents, or 0.81% to $73.51 a barrel.

Apple product-launch event in focus this week

Meanwhile, traders are paying close attention as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) prepares to holds its annual iPhone launch event tomorrow.

While details of the “California Streaming” event are thin, Apple could introduce its new iPhone 13 lineup.

According to multiple reports and leaks, the new iPhone 13 models will include a smaller display notch, an improved 5G modem, and a faster A15 processor.

Apple is also expected to announce Apple Watch Series 7 and new AirPods. The tech giant launches new Apple Watches every year, and AirPods are due for an update, following the last release in 2019.

Epic v. Apple trial

Sticking with Apple, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District Court of California ruled Friday that the iPhone maker must allow app developers the ability to direct customers to payment methods outside of its App Store.

The judge also ruled that Apple is permanently restrained and enjoined from “communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.”

Apple was sued by Epic Games, a game developer who argued that the 30% commission the tech giant charges on app sales is an antitrust violation that hurts consumers and developers.

However, the judge did not declare Apple a monopoly in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions, a move that would have made it easier for federal regulators to go after the tech giant and break it apart.

Apple also won the rest of their case blocking Epic’s popular game “Fortnite” popular game from being added back to the App Store.