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U.S. Futures Largely Lower; U.S. Inflation, Disney in Focus


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By Peter Nurse – U.S. stocks are seen opening largely lower Thursday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains ahead of the release of key consumer inflation data and with the earnings season in full flow.

At 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 10 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 Futures traded 10 points, or 0.2%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 50 points, or 0.4%.

The major indices had a strong session Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ending over 300 points, or 0.9%, higher, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite leading the way, rising 2.1%.

Investors have decided to bank some of those gains Thursday, despite more strong corporate earnings after Wednesday’s close, ahead of the release of the monthly inflation report which could provide clues over the pace of Federal Reserve tightening.

The January U.S. consumer prices release is due at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT), and the headline CPI is seen rising 0.5% on the month and 7.3% on the year in January, the highest number since 1982.

The weekly jobless claims number is also due at the same time, and is expected to show 230,000 people claiming benefits last week, marginally down from the previous week.

Earlier Thursday, the EU’s executive arm said gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro would grow 4.0% this year, a drop from its forecast of 4.3% growth in November, while inflation this year will be 3.5%, well above the European Central Bank’s target of 2.0%, and much higher than its own forecast from November of 2.2%.

Back to the corporate sector, Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock traded over 7% higher premarket after the entertainment giant’s fourth-quarter results late Wednesday revealed strong subscriber growth in its streaming services and more people returning to its theme parks.

Uber (NYSE:UBER) stock also climbed 5% premarket after the ride-hailing company reported its second operating profit for a quarter while its food delivery business delivered its maiden profit at the basic operating level.

There are more earnings due Thursday, including the two beverage giants PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), the fintech company Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM), online travel agency Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), and online real estate marketplace Zillow (NASDAQ:Z).

Oil prices edged higher, boosted by data from the Energy Information Administration showing that U.S. crude inventories fell the most for a week since October 2018.

The crude market has been pressured over the last couple of sessions by the resumption of U.S.-Iran nuclear talks that could result in the Persian Gulf country adding supplies to the global market.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1% higher at $90.59 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.7% to $92.23.   

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,833.55/oz, while EUR/USD edged 0.1% higher to 1.1432.


U.S. Futures Largely Lower; U.S. Inflation, Disney in Focus

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