U.S. Stocks May Move To The Downside In Early Trading

After ending the previous session little changed, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.6 percent.

Ongoing concerns about the outlook for interest rates and the global economy may weigh on the markets to start the session.

Negative sentiment may be generated in reaction to a report showing U.K. consumer prices increased more than expected in March to remain stubbornly high on rising food prices.

Consumer prices logged an annual increase of 10.1 percent, which was slower than the 10.4 percent in February, the Office for National Statistics said. However, headline inflation was expected to slow to 9.8 percent.

Early trading may also be impacted by reaction to the latest earnings news, with shares of Netflix (NFLX) seeing notable pre-market weakness after the streaming giant reported weaker than expected first quarter revenues.

Financial giant Morgan Stanley (MS) is also moving sharply lower in pre-market trading despite reporting first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, shares of Travelers (TRV) are seeing significant pre-market strength after the insurance giant reported better than expected first quarter results.

Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is due to release its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in each of the twelve Fed districts.

The major U.S. stock indexes closed narrowly mixed on Tuesday, with investors mostly making stock specific moves, reacting to quarterly earnings updates and digesting the latest economic data.

Investors also assessed the outlook for interest rates and looked to more earnings and data for clarity about the state of the economy.

The major averages all ended little changed from their previous closing levels. The Dow ended lower by 10.55 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 33,976.63. The S&P 500 edged up 3.55 points or 0.1 percent to 4,154.87, and the Nasdaq settled at 12,153.41, down 4.31 points or less than a tenth of a percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi crept up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved modestly lower on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are tumbling $1.67 to $79.19 a barrel after inching up $0.03 to $80.86 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,988.40, down $31.30 compared to the previous session’s close of $2,019.70. On Tuesday, gold climbed $12.70.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 134.51 yen compared to the 134.12 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0938 compared to yesterday’s $1.0972.

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