By Ankika Biswas and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

(Reuters) -Wall Street futures were higher on Friday, on hopes that a closely watched measure of inflation would show moderation in price pressures and strengthen the case for interest rate cuts this year.

The Commerce Department’s data is expected to show the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index – the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge – remained flat in May after rising 0.3% in the previous month, with the core figure seen rising 0.1% after a 0.2% gain the month before.

Deutsche Bank analysts expect the year-on-year PCE to come in at an over three-year low, which although is promising news for the Fed, would not be enough to assure the central bank after the unexpected inflation spike seen back in the first quarter.

Even in the face of the Fed guiding for just one interest rate cut this year in December, market participants still expect two cuts starting September, hoping for a sustained downtrend in price pressures and as the economy remains susceptible to decades-high interest rate.

Chances of a rate cut in September stand at 64%, as per LSEG FedWatch data.

Megacaps including Microsoft, Nvidia, and rose between 0.3% and 0.8% in premarket trading.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Barkin said he still wanted to proceed “deliberately” on policy. Comments from Fed officials Michelle Bowman and Mary Daly are expected later in the day.

Investors also geared up for the final reconstitution of the Russell benchmark indexes during the day, with the furious rally in AI-related stocks expected to leave an outsized imprint on their final shape.

Futures tracking the small-cap Russell 2000 rose 0.8% to a two week-high.

At 7:19 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 32 points, or 0.08%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 19.75 points, or 0.36%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 85.5 points, or 0.43%.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes were set for gains in a week marked by a short-lived rout in AI-related stocks, hitting $2 trillion market value for the first time, quarterly earnings from the likes of FedEx and Micron Technology, and a mixed bag of economic data.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set for quarterly gains. However the Dow was on pace to end the quarter down 1%, highlighting the divergence between the more tech-heavy indexes and the rest of the market.

Among top movers, Trump Media & Technology Group and other stocks linked to former President Donald Trump such as Phunware and Rumble rose between 1% and 8%.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden delivered a shaky, halting performance while rival Trump battered him with a series of often false attacks at their debate. The U.S. dollar jumped briefly during the debate, while benchmark Treasury yields inched higher. [FRX/] [MKTS/GLOB]

“Wall Street’s perceiving that the policies likely to be enacted under a Trump administration could be broadly more beneficial,” said Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group.

Among others, Nike slumped 14.3% after forecasting a surprise drop in fiscal 2025 revenue.

Optical networking gear maker Infinera jumped 20% after Nokia’s said it would acquire the company in a $2.3 billion deal.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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