ECB Decision, Jobless Claims, Powell Speaks: 3 Things to Watch

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ECB Decision, Jobless Claims, Powell Speaks: 3 Things to Watch

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- Stocks surged into the close, driven higher by lower oil prices and falling interest rates, though investors are still waiting for the Federal Reserve's next move.

They may get a tiny clue about the central bank's thinking tomorrow morning, when Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at a virtual conference. Many onlookers now believe the Fed is preparing to raise interest rates another 0.75 percentage points, which it did in June and July, and comments this week by multiple Fed policymakers point to the Fed continuing to be laser-focused on taming inflation .

Other central banks are acting as well. Thursday also brings the next decision by the European Central Bank.

The Fed's next meeting is in another two weeks, and in the interim, a new reading on inflation trends will be published. In its periodic economic report called the Beige Book on Wednesday, the Fed indicated that its outlook for future economic growth remains "generally weak" at a time when rising food and rent prices have forced consumers to switch spending to essentials.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. ECB decision

The European Central Bank is expected to make its next move on interest rates on Thursday, with an announcement for 8:15 ET (12:15 GMT). Analysts expect 1.25% up from 0.5%.

2. Jobless claims

Amid a continued strong labor market, analysts are expecting last week's initial jobless claims to come in around 240,000, which would be up from 232,000 the prior week. The data come out at 8:30 ET.

3. Powell speaks

Fed Chair Powell is scheduled to take part in a panel discussion at 9:10 ET at the Cato Institute's virtual meeting.

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