Futures Pointing To Lower Open On Wall Street

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(RTTNews) – After ending yesterday’s lackluster session modestly higher, stocks may move back to the downside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.3 percent.

Traders may look to cash in on yesterday’s slim gains, which lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to new record closing highs.

Overall trading activity is likely to remain relatively subdued, however, as investors look ahead to two major economic events on Wednesday.

Early trading on Wednesday is likely to be driven by reaction to the Labor Department’s closely watched report on consumer price inflation in the month of May.

Economists expect consumer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent in May after climbing by 0.3 percent in April, while core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, are expected to increase by 0.3 percent for the second straight month.

The annual rate of growth by consumer prices is expected to come in unchanged at 3.4 percent, but the annual rate of core consumer price growth is expected to slow to 3.5 percent in May from 3.6 percent in April.

The data could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement later in the day.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement as well as officials’ latest projections for the economy and interest rates.

Extending the lackluster performance seen last Thursday and Friday, stocks showed a lack of direction during trading on Monday. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing modestly higher.

Despite the choppy trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs. The Nasdaq climbed 59.40 points or 0.4 percent to 17,192.53, the S&P 500 rose 13.80 points or 0.3 percent to 5,360.79 and the Dow edged up 69.05 points or 0.2 percent to 38868.04.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has slumped by 1.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.8 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.30 to $77.44 a barrel after surging $2.21 to $77.74 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after inching up $2 to $2,327 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $4.90 to $2,331.90 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 156.90 yen compared to the 157.04 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0730 compared to yesterday’s $1.0765.