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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open Wednesday, following negative sentiment seen from markets overseas, as investors geared up for more earnings and data.
Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 127 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures pulled back 13.5 points and 31.25 points, respectively. Shares of General Electric also fell more than 1 percent in the premarket as the industrial giant’s slide continues. GE fell has fallen more than 12 percent this week.
Oil prices declined after the IEA slashed its outlook for oil demand growth by 100,000 barrels per day for 2017 and 2018. At 6:58 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped 1.1 percent to trade at $55.07, while Brent hovered around $61.50 per barrel, down 1.1 percent.
In the previous trading session, U.S. equities closed in negative territory, with concerns about a potential global economic slowdown and issues surrounding U.S. tax reform weighing on sentiment.
A slew of data is set to be released Wednesday. At 8:30 a.m. ET, retail sales, consumer price index (CPI) data and the Empire State Manufacturing survey are all scheduled for release.
Business inventories are set to be released at 10 a.m. ET, while Treasury International Capital (TIC) data is due out at 4 p.m. ET. Mortgage applications will also be released, as usual, at 7 a.m. ET.
In earnings, Target reported better-than-expected earnings as same-store sales — a key metric for retailers — topped estimates. However, the stock fell nearly 4 percent before the bell.
Looking to the U.S. Federal Reserve, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren is expected to deliver remarks on the U.S. economic outlook, at Northeastern University’s Economic Policy Forum in Boston on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, prior to the market open, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans called for the U.S. central bank to respond by signaling the likelihood of higher inflation ahead, when speaking at a conference in London, Reuters reported.
In the U.S., the future of a tax reform deal is expected to add uncertainty to markets throughout the trading day, as investors remain on edge over whether a reform will take place during 2017.