Futures Pointing To Initial Pullback On Wall Street

After ending the previous session notably higher, stocks may move back 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 0.5 percent.

Traders may look to cash in on some of yesterday’s gains, which came amid a positive reaction to comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Powell acknowledged recent indications of easing inflation but noted that the disinflationary process has a long way to go and cautioned further interest rate hikes could be needed.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, with a relatively light economic calendar keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Reports on initial jobless claims and consumer sentiment are likely to attract attention in the coming days, with the consumer sentiment report including readings on inflation expectations.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is due to release its report on wholesale inventories in the month of December. Wholesale inventories are expected to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Despite staying weak until noon and suffering a setback after a subsequent recovery, U.S. stocks closed on a buoyant note on Tuesday thanks to strong buying at several counters.

The major averages all ended with impressive gains. The Dow ended higher by 265.67 points or 0.8 percent at 34,156.69. The S&P 500 closed up 52.92 points or 1.3 percent at 4,164.00, and the Nasdaq surged 226.34 points or 1.9 percent to 12,113.79.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.3 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi jumped by 1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.7 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.8 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.82 to $77.96 a barrel after soaring $3.03 to $77.14 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,886.50, up $1.70 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,884.80. On Tuesday, gold rose $5.30.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 131.23 yen compared to the 131.07 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0728 compared to yesterday’s $1.0726.

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