- Just before the November CPI reading published Tuesday, there was a large, mysterious surge in futures trading, per Bloomberg.
- In the minute before the report published, index futures surged and thousands of Treasury futures were traded.
- The White House said there was no chance anyone leaked the CPI data prior to publication.
A massive, unusual surge in futures trading occurred right before the release of the November inflation report on Wednesday, though White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shrugged off activity as “minor market movements” and said no intel was leaked ahead of the data’s publication.
Just before the data appeared on the Labor Department’s website—the reading clocked in at 7.1% year-over-year, cooler than expected—stock futures jumped more than 1%, and Treasury futures surged enough to pull benchmark yields down roughly 4 basis points, according to Bloomberg.
In a 60-second stretch before the CPI figures were released, over 13,000 March 10-year futures were traded in a window when there is usually very little activity, the Bloomberg report says.
Market veterans said that the suspicious trading should draw attention from regulators, especially given that the data came was a below-consensus surprise.
Stocks and bonds rallied further following the publication of the data, as the reading suggests that the Fed’s rate hikes are working and the central bank may soon back down from its hawkish policy path. This raises the prospect for a soft landing of the economy in 2023.
A spokesperson from the Bureau of Labor Statistics told Bloomberg that the agency is not aware of any leaks, though some officials do get the data prior to public release.