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Stock futures rise slightly ahead of a fresh batch of economic data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading on September 13, 2022 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

U.S. equity futures were slightly higher Wednesday evening as investors looked ahead to several economic reports scheduled to come out in the morning.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched higher by 17 points, or 0.05%. S&P 500 futures added 0.22%, and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.12%.

Earlier in the day, the major averages ended a choppy session on a modestly higher note. The Dow closed slightly higher, by 30 points, after falling more than 200 points at one point. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7%.

Stocks sought stability after a hotter-than-expected inflation report on Tuesday sent them tumbling to post their worst day since 2020. August’s consumer price index report showed headline inflation rose 0.1% on a monthly basis, despite a drop in gas prices.

“One-day events are tough to extrapolate,” said Jeff deGraaf, founder and chairman of Renaissance Macro Research, on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.” “It is one of those extreme events that doesn’t have follow-through and that tends to be good news, not bad.”

“Inflation is really a dark cloud over equities, but I think it’s really important that people keep in mind that it’s not about good and bad in the markets, it’s about better and worse,” he added, “and it does appear that inflation is getting better.”

Wednesday’s producer price index report showed an decrease in wholesale prices of 0.1% in August, which deGraaf said provided him some comfort.

Investors are looking ahead to a raft of economic updates on Thursday morning, including retail sales, import prices and jobless claims, as well as the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey and the Empire State manufacturing survey – all at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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