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Stock futures flat as investors brace for July inflation report

Stock futures were little changed early Wednesday as investors eagerly awaited a key inflation report due out on Wednesday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were slightly lower.

The moves come after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell for a third straight day on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite led the declines, falling 1.19% after Micron, Novavax and Upstart warned that future earnings and revenue could be lower than previously thought. The S&P 500 fell 0.42% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.18%.

Inflation report looms

Investors await the latest report on the consumer price index, which could confirm or dash hopes that the rise in prices has stabilized. Economists expect the report to show that inflation has eased slightly, driven by falling oil prices.

“In terms of reactions, the market will initially be more excited by a downside surprise in core CPI than an upside surprise, especially when it comes to risk appetite,” wrote Alan Ruskin. from Deutsche Bank in a Tuesday note. “A downside surprise plays into ‘hopes’ that a spike in oil/food, plus slower demand, will quickly feed through to US inflation data.”

The Federal Reserve will assess the report, along with other key economic data, ahead of its September meeting where it is expected to raise interest rates again.

Earnings season also continues, with Disney’s quarterly results due after the bell on Wednesday.

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