By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening with small losses Wednesday, hovering just below record levels ahead of the release of key consumer price data for October, which are expected to be a further test of the Federal Reserve’s nerve as it tries to look through the distortions of an economic recovery with no previous parallels.
At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 95 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 16 points, or 0.4%, lower, while Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 85 points, or 0.5%.
The three major indices closed lower Tuesday, snapping long winning streaks, with the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping just over 100 points, or 0.3%, the broad-based S&P 500 falling 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite losing 0.6%.
Strong earnings, the ongoing business reopening and monetary policy support have lifted indexes to all-time peaks, but continued high inflation has brought the last of those factors into question.
The Federal Reserve began tapering its bond-buying program at its last meeting, and now the main source of concern in the markets is when the central bank starts hiking interest rates.
The October consumer price index reading is due at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT), and is expected to show a year-over-year gain of 5.8%, which would be the most in 30 years, while the core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to have climbed 4.3% from a year ago.
Weekly jobless claims are also due out Wednesday, a day earlier than usual due to Thursday’s Veterans Day holiday.
The likes of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) and Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL) are all scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the close Wednesday, while Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) will be in the spotlight after the cryptocurrency exchange missed revenue expectations with lower monthly active transaction users after the close Tuesday.
DoorDash (NYSE:DASH) will also be in focus after the food delivery company announced the acquisition of Finnish delivery app Wolt for around $8 billion.
Crude prices edged lower Wednesday, retreating after the previous session’s strong gains on the back of industry data showing a surprise 2.5 million barrel reduction in U.S. crude stockpiles, reinforcing the view that supply will remain constrained as demand continues to improve.
A build of about 1.9 million barrels had been expected. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data are due later at 10:30 AM ET.
By 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% lower at $83.69 a barrel, having gained 2.7% on Tuesday, while the Brent contract fell 0.2% to $84.61, adding to the previous session’s 1.6% gain. Both contracts closed at their highest levels since Oct. 27.
Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,826.80/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.1549.