U.S. Futures Largely Flat; Clover Health in Demand

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U.S. Futures Largely Flat; Clover Health in Demand
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com - U.S. stocks are seen opening largely unchanged Wednesday, with investors treading water ahead of the release of U.S. inflation data later in the week.

At 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the Dow futures contract was down 20 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures traded 4 points, or 0.1%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 40 points, or 0.3%.

The proximity to Thursday’s U.S. inflation numbers is limiting activity as investors fret that a strong number will pile pressure on the Federal Reserve to start reining in its very accommodative monetary policy stance.

Economists are expecting May's CPI to rise 4.7% from a year earlier, a jump from April’s 4.2%, which was the fastest rise since 2008.

“While on the CPI side all the focus will be on the U.S. prices tomorrow, the China May PPI data overnight underlined the clear global trend of building price prices,” said ING analysts, in a note.

Earlier Wednesday, China's factory gate prices rose at their fastest annual pace in over 12 years, with May PPI increasing 9.0% on the year, a significant jump from April’s 6.8% increase.

In corporate news, the meme stocks frenzy looks set to continue, with a new favorite emerging. Clover Health (NASDAQ: CLOV ) stock traded up over 20% premarket, a day after demand from retail investors sent its stock 86% higher to a record level.

Another retail pick GameStop (NYSE: GME ) is also likely to be in the spotlight as it reports after the close on Wednesday. It’s expected to post a loss on $1.2 billion in revenue.

Similarly, Brown Forman (NYSE: BFb ) is due to release earnings Wednesday, and the maker of Jack Daniels and Chambord is expected to post gains in both sales and profit.

Crude oil prices pushed higher Wednesday, helped by growing confidence about the outlook of fuel demand as the global economy recovers, particularly in the U.S., the largest consumer in the world.

By 6:30 AM ET, U.S. crude was up 0.5% at $68.87 a barrel, after closing Tuesday above the $70 mark for the first time since October 2018. Brent was up 0.6% at $71.09, after earlier reaching $72.83, the highest since May 20, 2019.

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude stocks fell by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended June 4. If confirmed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration later in the day, this would be the third straight weekly decline in inventories as the U.S. driving season kicks into gear.

Additionally, the EIA lifted its forecast for fuel consumption this year in the United States to 1.49 million barrels per day, up from a previous forecast of 1.39 million barrels per day.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,891.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.2195.


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