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Stocks - U.S. Futures Flat to Lower, Inflation Data in Focus

Investing.com - U.S. futures pointed to a flat to lower open Wednesday, as talks between the U.S. and China failed to lift sentiment and investors looked ahead to inflation data.

The S&P 500 futures fell over half a point or 0.03% to 2,726.75 as of 6:40 AM ET (11:40 GMT) while Dow futures were flat at 25,331.0. Meanwhile tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures decreased 18 points, or 0.26%, to 6,835.0.

News of renewed trade talks between the U.S. and China failed to ease investor concerns that the outlook for global growth is deteriorating.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday the two nations are in talks ahead of a planned meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later in the month.

Investors will look closely at inflation numbers released at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT), for clues if the Federal Reserve will increase rates at a faster pace than expected. Traders will also be listening in to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is expected to speak along with Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan at 6:00 PM ET (23:00 GMT) in Dallas.

Retail earnings results continue into Wednesday, with Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) expected to report before the opening bell. NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) are set to release their earnings after the market close.

Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) was among the top gainers, rising 0.96%. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose 0.23% while Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) gained 0.21% and General Electric (NYSE:GE) was up 0.35%.

Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) was down over 4% after the company received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding information about is 2017 initial public offering.

Energy stocks were also in focus as oil prices struggled to find their footing after a record breaking losing streak. EQT Corp (NYSE:EQT) fell 3.29% while Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) inched up 0.37% and Baker Hughes lost 2.27%.

Crude oil futures were down 0.20% to $55.58 a barrel, in the wake of Tuesday's 7% selloff, while gold futures inched up 0.08% to $1,200.20. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.09% to 97.23.

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