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Futures muted, #GameStop #surges, #OpenAI 3announcement – what’s #moving #markets :


U.S. futures were broadly unchanged on Tuesday, with markets taking a cautious stance ahead of all-important inflation data later this week. GameStop (NYSE:GME) shares surge after a series of cryptic social media posts from meme stock figurehead “Roaring Kitty” after a roughly three-year hiatus. Elsewhere, OpenAI unveils advances to its artificial intelligence model, while Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is expected to announce developments in its own AI offerings at a closely-watched developer conference this week.

1. Futures muted

U.S. stock futures hovered around the flatline on Tuesday, as investors awaited the publication of key inflation data this week that could impact how the Federal Reserve approaches future interest rate decisions.

By 03:29 ET (07:29 GMT), the Dow futures contract, S&P 500 futures, and Nasdaq 100 futures were all mostly unchanged.

The main averages on Wall Street were mixed in the prior session, with the benchmark S&P 500 edging only marginally lower by 0.02%, in a sign that traders were taking some caution ahead of April’s consumer price index figures on Wednesday.

The numbers, which are viewed as a gauge of inflation in the world’s largest economy, are projected to have risen 0.4% on a monthly basis in April, matching the pace registered in March. Year-on-year, the reading is seen decelerating slightly to 3.4% from 3.5%. Stripping out volatile items like food and fuel, consumer price growth is forecast to have slowed to 0.3% month-on-month and an annualized 3.6%.

Markets will be keeping close tabs on the release as it could heavily influence the timetable for potential Fed interest rate cuts later this year. The central bank has made corraling inflationary pressures in the U.S. a central focus of a campaign of rate hikes that have pushed borrowing costs up to more than two-decade highs.

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2. “Roaring Kitty” posts for the first time in three years, sending GameStop shares soaring

Shares in videogame retailer GameStop surged by over 20% in after hours trading, pointing to a continued gains after the stock soared by their most since January 2021 on Monday.

Fueling the jump was the first post on in three years from “Roaring Kitty”, an account linked to a financial markets commentator and social media influencer Keith Gill. Gill, also known as “Deep F***ing Value” on forum website Reddit, became a figurehead of a frenzy of trading in so-called “meme stocks” like GameStop and theater chain AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) in 2021.

AMC and Koss Corp shares also rose sharply.

The “Roaring Kitty” account posted a series of well-known internet memes, including an image of a man leaning forward in a chair that is used to signify the growing seriousness of a situation. “Roaring Kitty” also posted a collection of other memes, although none of them mentioned GameStop or other stocks.

3. OpenAI unveils ChatGPT advances

OpenAI has revealed advances to its megapopular artificial intelligence model, as the Microsoft-backed group faces heavy competition from Big Tech firms to develop the nascent technology.

Dubbed GPT-4o, the updated model is more adept at analyzing images, video and text, and includes a voice assistant that makes it easier to use, according to OpenAI Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati.

In a presentation on Monday, Murati said GPT-4o provides “much faster” intelligence compared to its previous iteration, a claim she looked to bolster by demonstrating its voice translation abilities. Shares in language learning app Duolingo subsequently dipped on Monday.

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The announcement comes as search giant Google is expected to also unveil fresh AI features at its annual developer conference this week. However, Murati said the timing of OpenAI’s event was coincidental, the Financial Times reported.

4. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier Foxconn Q1 profit rebounds, but misses estimates

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, clocked a sharp increase in its first-quarter profit as the Taiwanese electronics giant benefited from increased demand for server technology, although it still missed expectations.

Net profit attributable jumped 72% to T$22.01 billion ($680 million). But the reading was lower than Bloomberg estimates of T$29.1 billion.

A bulk of the quarterly profit jump came from a lower base for comparison from last year, when the company was grappling with a pronounced decline in electronics demand.

While the growing artificial intelligence industry helped offset some of these dips in recent quarters, broader demand for consumer electronics, which constitutes a bulk of Foxconn’s earnings, remained weak.

Sluggish consumer electronics demand was especially apparent in middling earnings from Apple — Foxconn’s biggest customer. The iPhone maker reported better-than-feared earnings in the first quarter, but still saw a marked drop in sales of its flagship handset in China.

5. Oil treads water

Crude prices were muted Tuesday, handing back some of the gains from the prior session as wildfires in Canada run the risk of disrupting the country’s oil supply.

By 03:26 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% lower at $79.07 per barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.1% to $83.29 a barrel.

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Both contracts rose more than 1% each on Monday.

Major wildfires have spread across Western Canada, presenting the potential for disruptions in Canadian oil and gas supplies, especially as they neared a key oil hub in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The city is the closest settlement to Canada’s biggest oil-sands operations, and had in 2016 suffered severe damage from wildfires, knocking around 1 million barrels per day out of commission at the time.


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