Inflation Data Likely To Weigh On Wall Street

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a sharply lower opening on Wednesday following the rebound seen over the three previous sessions.

The downward momentum on Wall Street comes following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in the month of January.

The bigger than expected increase in consumer prices may add to recent concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster than previously anticipated.

After seeing initial weakness, stocks turned higher over the course of the trading session on Tuesday. With the turnaround, the major averages extended the upward move seen over the two previous sessions.

The major averages ended the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow edged up 39.18 points or 0.2 percent to 24,640.45, the Nasdaq advanced 31.55 points or 0.5 percent to 7,013.51 and the S&P 500 rose 6.94 points or 0.3 percent to 2,662.94.

The rebound came as traders looked ahead to the release of reports on consumer prices and retail sales on Wednesday.

The data is likely to have a significant impact on how traders perceive the Federal Reserve will act regarding future interest rate hikes.

Reports on producer prices, housing starts, and homebuilder confidence are also due to be released later in the week.

Tobacco stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Tobacco Index up by 2.8 percent. With the jump, the index reached a record closing high.

Retail and real estate stocks also moved to the upside, while considerable weakness was visible among energy stocks.

Commodity, Currency Markets

Crude oil futures are falling $0.51 to $58.78 a barrel after inching up $0.09 to $59.29 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, after climbing $4 to $1,330.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are sliding $3.80 to $1,326.60 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 107.18 yen compared to the 107.82 yen it fetched at the close of New…

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