Futures See Further Downside Following Consumer Price Data

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Thursday after the major averages edged up to new record closing highs in the previous session.

The futures saw further downside following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in the month of August.

Geopolitical concerns may weigh on the markets after North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the U.S. to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a new round of sanctions by the United Nations.

Traders are also digesting the latest monetary policy announcement by the Bank of England, which held interest rates steady but said some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months.

After moving higher over the two previous sessions, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Wednesday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the session modestly higher, reaching new record closing highs. The Dow rose 39.32 points or 0.2 percent to 22,158.18, the Nasdaq inched up 5.91 points or 0.1 percent to 6,460.19 and the S&P 500 edged up 1.89 points or 0.1 percent to 2,498.37.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent strength.

Traders also stuck to the sidelines ahead of the release of some key economic data over the next couple of days.

A report released by the Labor Department this morning showed producer prices rose by slightly less than expected in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged up by 0.2 percent in August after slipping by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.3 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices inched up by 0.1 percent in August after dipping by 0.1 percent in July. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Traders also kept an eye on Washington, where House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., revealed Republicans will release an outline of their tax reform plan the week of September 25th.

Speaking to reporters, Ryan said the outline will represent a consensus between the House Ways And Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Trump administration.

Ryan said the tax-writing committees would take feedback and input on the outline and then produce…

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