With concern about deflation roiling global markets, Wall Street will be paying even more attention to usual to Friday's consumer price index, or CPI.
"We'd like to see a modicum of inflation, excluding food and energy. What we don't want to see is deflation," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
The economy works best with some inflation, compared to deflation, which tends to cause people to delay making purchases or thinking what they want to buy might be even cheaper in the future, Hogan explained.
The CPI "will inform us how close we are to the Fed not taking action, or taking action," Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital, said.