US stocks were set for a downbeat session Wednesday amid the release of key economic data and a few speeches from the Federal Reserve, while a report that China may relax its purchases of US debt also weighed on equities.
Oil prices nudged higher, with global benchmark Brent Crude up 0.60%, while US crude West Texas Intermediate was up 0.89% recently as traders looked ahead to the release of weekly US inventory data.
Data released at 8:30 am showed import prices rose 0.1% in December vs. estimates for a 0.4% increase and prior revised gain of 0.8%. Export prices posted a surprise 0.1% drop for the month as compared with estimates for a 0.3% increase and prior month's increase of 0.5%, according to data compiled by Econoday.
At 10 am, forecasters see a 0.7% build in wholesale trade inventories for December vs. a 0.5% decline from the previous month.
Federal Reserve Presidents Charles Evans, Robert Kaplan and James Bullard are scheduled to give speeches.
In equities, shares of InspireMD ( NSPR ) fell 3% pre-bell, despite the company saying it expects a 211% increase in CGuard EPS sales for Q4.
U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS
-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.37%
-S&P 500 futures down 0.34%
-Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.46%
-Nasdaq 100 pre-market indicator down 0.50%
Nikkei down 0.26%
Hang Seng up 0.11%
Shanghai Composite up 0.23%
FTSE-100 up 0.16%
DAX-30 down 0.93%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(-) Large cap tech: unchanged to lower
(-) Chip stocks: unchanged to lower
(-) Software stocks: unchanged to lower
(-) Hardware stocks: unchanged to lower
(-) Internet stocks: lower
(+) Oil stocks: unchanged to higher
(-) Biotech stocks: unchanged to lower
(-) Drug stocks: unchanged to lower
(/-) Financial stocks: mixed
(-) Retail stocks: unchanged to lower
(-) Industrial stocks: unchanged to lower
(+) Airlines: higher
(+/-) Autos: mixed
(+) KODK (+66.2%) Plans to launch platform, cryptocurrency for image management
(+) AMRH (+72.8%) Says it plans to widen service offering with blockchain functionality
(+) HMNY (+10.3%) MoviePass unit surpasses 1.5 million subscribers
(-) JD (-2%) Said to be targeting opening 1,000 7Fresh stores in China
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