US stock futures inched lower on Wednesday ahead of the country’s chief inflation data. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were nearly flat, slipping 15 points only. S&P 500 futures fell more than 6 points while Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 39 points.
US Market Concerns
The Dow Jones index will react to the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for July later in the day. According to analysts, with the resurgence of the coronavirus alongside the highly contagious Delta variant, the economy did not show much improvement in July. The headline and core CPI are expected to decline slightly.
Being among the Fed’s favorite data, the CPI data will be a key reference for the Fed’s interest rates. FOMC members Bostic and Barkin on Monday stated that the growth pace of the country’s economy, as well as the rise in inflation, could prompt the Fed to initiate discussions on hiking its interest rates.
US Treasury yields edged slightly higher on Wednesday ahead of the US CPI data later in the day. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note advanced to 1.373%. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond jumped to 2.012%.
Oil prices handed back their gains on Wednesday ahead of the weekly US crude oil inventories. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has been hovering below the $70 level. WTI futures slipped to $68.13 per barrel. Brent crude futures fell to $70.51 per barrel.
The US Senate passed Joe Biden’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan on Tuesday. The legislation aims at upgrading roads, bridges, ports, and other key infrastructure assets. According to US President Joe Biden, the bill will help create jobs, increase productivity, and pave way for economic growth.
Dow Jones Movers
Caterpillar Inc was the best performer in the Dow Jones premarket trade. The construction machinery and equipment company recently posted strong earnings. Caterpillar posted better-than-expected profits for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Walmart Inc advanced in its stock earnings. The retail company has been offering special bonuses and pay raises to many warehouse employees in a bid to keep them. Many businesses are concerned about the shortage of employees.
JPMorgan Chase was also among the top movers in the index. The investment banking company recently launched a real-time payments option hoping to increase its edge in the financial industry.
Among the top laggards in the index were tech companies. Apple Inc led the losses and was followed by Microsoft Corporation.