Inflation takes center stage in the week ahead as Wall Street looks for more clues on Fed rate hikes

New inflation data set for release in the week ahead could help Wall Street regain its footing. The latest read on the consumer price index — an inflation gauge that measures what consumers pay for a many goods — is due out Thursday. The July producer price index — which gauges what wholesalers pay for raw goods — is slated for Friday. If the reports show inflationary pressures are trending toward the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal, the market could take it as a signal that the Fed is getting close to wrapping up its rate-hiking campaign that began last year. The June CPI and PPI reports, released mid-July, showed inflation easing. “If CPI continues to follow the PPI, which it’s been, then I would say that probably removes the case for any more Fed tightening,” said Jack Ablin, investment chief at Cresset Capital. “And I think that’s good news for stocks.” The major averages struggled this week after a Fitch dow …

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