Stocks steady after strong China data, Arm rallies in day 2: Stock market news today

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US stock futures were mostly muted Friday as the major indexes looked to build on a Thursday rally.

S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures were up 0.1%, while those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.2%. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 lost 0.1%.

The moves Friday came as China reported that its economy picked up steam last month, easing concerns about the world’s second-largest economy. In the US, the United Auto Workers union officially launched a historic strike at select Big 3 automaker plants.

All eyes continued to be on British chipmaker Arm (ARM), which debuted on public markets on Thursday with a near-25% rise. Arm stock was up almost 5% in premarket trading on Friday.

The Wall Street benchmarks rallied on Thursday, after retail sales and wholesale price inflation for August came in hotter than expected. Those signs of resilience in the US consumer and of persistent price pressures make a case for more Fed rate hikes but also were signs that the Fed could be leading the US economy on the path to a soft landing.

A recent oil price rally has spurred the rises in inflation, with a significant effect on stocks. On Friday, WTI crude (CL=F) and Brent (BZ=F) futures were again trading near the 2023 highs hit on Thursday.

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