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Stock futures flat as investors brace for July inflation report

Stock futures were little changed early on Wednesday as investors looked forward to a key inflation report due on Wednesday.

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

The moves come after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell for a third straight day on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite led the decliners, falling 1.19% after Micron, Novavax and Upstart warned that future revenue and earnings could come in lower than previously thought. The S&P 500 fell 0.42%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1[ads1]8%.

The inflation report is approaching

Investors await the latest consumer price index report, which could confirm or dash hopes that rising prices have leveled off. Economists expect the report to show that inflation has cooled slightly, led by falling oil prices.

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

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

Earnings season also continues, with Disney’s quarterly results following Wednesday.

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