Market Snapshot: Stock futures point lower ahead of inflation data

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Stock-index futures pointed to further losses for equities Wednesday as investors awaited a key reading on inflation a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest one-day fall since late February.

What are major indexes doing?
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

    were down 129 points, or 0.4%, at 34,054.
  • S&P 500 futures

    fell 17.45 points, or 0.4%, to 4,128.75.
  • Nasdaq-100 futures

    dropped 85.25 points, or 0.6%, to 13,260.75.

On Tuesday, the Nasdaq Composite

bounced back from an intraday fall of more than 2% to end slightly lower as tech shares bounced back from an initial rout. But the broader market struggled to recover, with the Dow

finishing 473.66 points lower, down 1.4%, for its biggest one-day percentage drop since Feb. 26. The S&P 500

lost 0.9%.

What’s driving the market?

Inflation jitters were getting the blame for market weakness, though analysts noted that usual market correlations weren’t in foce during Tuesday’s selloff, with tech shares bouncing despite Treasury yields climbing higher.

Regardless, inflation data will be front and center Wednesday morning, with the release of the April consumer-price index due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Economists look for a 0.2% rise in the headline figure after a 0.6% jump in March. Core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, is seen up 0.3%, matching a March rise.

“If the inflation data is in line or, ideally, softer than expected, we will likely see a relief rally across the market and the tech stocks could benefit from a wave of optimism backed by the fact that the inflation is not accelerating as fast as feared and that the Fed could continue pumping liquidity into the system and support the rally in equity prices,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at Swissquote Bank, in a note.

“A stronger-than-expected inflation read, on the other hand, will add fuel to inflation fears and result in a deeper selloff across equities,” Ozkardeskaya said.

But any negative market reaction may be short-lived as the Fed continues to play down the pickup in inflation, she said.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida is due to deliver a speech at 9 a.m.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Shares of Electronic Arts Inc.

    were up 0.6% in premarket trade after the videogame publisher late Tuesday reported its quarterly results.
  • Lemonade Inc.

    shares were down more than 6% after the mobile-based insurance company beat on results but provided a lackluster outlook for the current quarter.
  • Europe’s second-highest court on Wednesday annulled a European Commission ruling that ordered online retailer Inc.

    to pay €250 million ($303.3 million) to Luxembourg, as part of an attempt to crack down on unfair tax breaks extended to big multinationals by European Union member states. Shares were down 0.3%.
  • Shares of FuboTV Inc.

    jumped 20% in premarket action, after the company boosted guidance and reported first-quarter results.

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