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Stock futures are flat on Tuesday ahead of key inflation data

U.S. equity futures were little changed on Tuesday night as investors await key data on Wednesday that’ll be the next big indicator of how much rising price pressures are accelerating.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 41 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.1%.

In regular trading, the Dow lost about 0.3% to close at 36,319.98. The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, snapping an eight-day win streak, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6%.

Tesla shares ended nearly 12% lower in Tuesday trading, extending Monday losses.

“The weakness in Tesla (which is largely technical, not fundamental) is also weighing on the consumer discretionary sector within the S&P 500 today, and the October PPI may also be doing so as business input prices continue to rise,” Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie said in a note Tuesday. “The prospect of Covid transforming from pandemic to endemic, and the potential for supply chain congestion to moderate are all likely to continue to drive growth, albeit more slowly,” Currie added.

On Tuesday morning, the Labor Department reported a 0.6% increase in the October producer price index, which is in line with the Dow Jones consensus estimate. Wholesale prices jumped 8.6% in October from a year ago, however, the hottest annual pace on record in almost 11 years.

“Investor worries came to the fore again today,” Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, told CNBC. “The inflation narrative is still out there and needs to be resolved. We think investors will see inflation abate in the coming months as the Fed remains accommodative, people come back into the workforce and consumers shift from buying goods to services… and we expect that will pull the market higher as we move toward the end of the year.”

Investors are holding their breath for the latest consumer price index reading, which the Labor Department will report Wednesday before the bell. Economists expect a 0.6% increase, or a year-over-year gain of nearly 6%, which would be the most in 30 years. They expect core CPI, which excludes food and energy and is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, to have risen 0.4%, or 4.3% year-over-year.

Weekly jobless claims and mortgage applications to purchase a home are also due out Wednesday.

Earnings season continues to be strong, with most of the S&P 500 companies who have already reported beating estimates, according to FactSet. Disney, Affirm, Bumble and The Honest Company are all scheduled to report Wednesday after the bell.

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