Stock futures in the U.S. pointed lower for Thursday’s opening thanks to the release of the last Federal Reserve Policy meeting minutes held in January carrying over to the trading today on Thursday.
Dow Jones futures were off 31 points, the S&P 500 futures were down 4 points and Nasdaq’s futures suffered a drop of 12 points.
Early this morning January’s consumer price index is due to be released. Economists expect the measure for inflation to increase by 0.1% from December. Minus energy and food, the CPI is expected to increase 0.2%.
Initial claims for the jobless for the week of February 16 will also be released during today’s morning session and analysts expect those claims to increase to 359,000, up from the 341,000 from the prior week. The four-week average has been 352,500 claims.
Also reporting on Monday will be the National Association of Realtors, which will announce sales for existing homes, with a consensus that predicts about the same annualized rate for January, as there was in December.
Minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting released on Wednesday suggested the Central Bank policymakers were starting to become more open to backing away from the stimulus plan of $85 billion per month in purchases of securities backed by mortgages and open-ended Treasuries.
Stocks were off on Wednesday on the prospect of the possibility of less monetary easing. The less than positive announcement by the Fed also battered global financial markets as London’s FTSE was off 1.6% Wednesday and the Frankfurt DAX was off 1.86%.
On Thursday, markets in Asia took deep losses with the Nikkei average in Japan down 1.39% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong off 1.72%.