Stock futures inch higher as Wall Street awaits another inflation report: Live updates

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., on March 13, 2024.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

U.S. stock futures rose slightly Wednesday evening as traders awaited another inflation reading.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures rose 32 points, or less than 0.1%. S&P 500 Futures advanced 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 Futures rose 0.2%.

In action after hours, trading platform Robin Hood rose 10% after the company reported a 16% increase in assets under custody in February from the previous month. Problems starting the electric vehicle fisker fell 46% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has hired restructuring advisors to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing.

These moves come after the major stock indices ended Wednesday's session with mixed activity.

A sharp decline in the technology sector, particularly as NVIDIA fell 1.1% - took out the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite downward, with the two indices falling 0.19% and 0.54%, respectively. The action of 30 Dowinstead, it added 0.10%.

Investors are keeping an eye on the February Producer Price Index, which will be released Thursday morning before the bell rings. The metric is a measure of wholesale inflation. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the headline PPI rose 0.3% in February, or 0.2% if food and energy prices are excluded.

The PPI report is the last major economic data to be released before the Federal Reserve's next policy meeting, scheduled for March 19-20.

The biggest theme in the market right now is the sell-off in the technology sector, according to Jay Woods, chief global strategist at Freedom Capital Markets. Only two stocks in the Magnificent Seven cohort ended Wednesday higher: Alphabet and Amazon. At the same time, seven of the 11 S&P sectors ended the day on a positive note, with energy and materials leading the way.

"The market has been able to withstand the lack of technological leadership and has expanded. Fortunately, the story of the Magnificent Seven is over," Woods said.

The strategist pointed out Apple and tesla have continued to decline amid weakening sales in the Chinese market and a lack of AI-adjacent incentives. Meanwhile, the House recently passed bill – which could lead to a ban on TikTok – may have wider ramifications both within the broader tech sector and on stocks linked to China.

On Thursday, investors will also be watching the weekly jobless claims report and retail sales. Both data releases must be published before the opening bell.

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