Stock market news today: US futures edge higher as inflation day arrives

US stock futures mostly rose on Thursday, buoying the S&P 500’s bid for a fresh all-time high, as investors braced for a key inflation reading and weighed a landmark bitcoin ETF approval.

S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures inched up 0.1% after the benchmark ended Wednesday at its highest close since January 2022, just short of notching a new record. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) wavered around the flatline, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) popped almost 0.4%.

Stocks have struggled this week as investors counted down to the US consumer inflation reading for December. The print will be critical for traders who have been increasingly pricing in the odds of a “soft landing” — where inflation retreats to 2% without an economic downturn — since the last CPI report.

Any sign of cooling price pressures in the report, due for release at 8:30 am ET, will factor into calculations about the pace and timing of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts this year.

Meanwhile, crypto stocks got a boost after the SEC gave regulatory approval for US spot bitcoin ETFs to begin trading on Thursday, seen as a game-changer for the sector. Shares in exchange Coinbase (COIN) and miner Marathon Digital (MARA) were among those moving higher in premarket.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) climbed above $47,000 to trade at its highest levels since March 2022, while rival ether (ETH-USD) jumped amid bets the second-biggest token is next to get the ETF green light.

Ahead of its quarterly financial update on Friday, Citigroup (C) said it will take more than $3 billion in one-time reserves and expenses in the results. The fourth-quarter earnings season is crucial for stocks, given their dismal performance this year so far.

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