(Refiles to correct to “eases” from “ease” in headline)
* China’s November CPI up 1.5 pct vs 1.3 pct in October
* Dow Chemical, DuPont jump on merger talks
* Yahoo up after shelving Alibaba spinoff plans
* Futures: Dow up 11 pts, S&P down 2 pts, Nasdaq down 10 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 9 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open little changed on Wednesday after China’s consumer inflation rose slightly but remained under the government’s 3 percent target for the year and oil prices stabilized after two days of bruising sell-off.
Data showed China’s November consumer price index surprised on the upside, rising 1.5 percent on-year from 1.3 percent in October.
Calmer commodity prices helped steady sentiment too. Oil prices clawed back some of their losses as U.S. crude inventories dipped, while copper prices also held their ground.
“We’re going to see a little bit of back-and-forth movement today. It has been a quite overnight and volumes have been very, very light in most futures markets,” said John Brady, managing director at brokerage R.J. O‘Brien & Associates in Chicago.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.25 points, or 0.11 percent, with 185,609 contracts traded at 8:19 a.m. ET (1319 GMT). Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 10 points, or 0.21 percent, on volume of 33,397 contracts. Dow e-minis were up 11 points, or 0.06 percent, with 31,123 contracts changing hands.
Investors remain cautious as concerns regarding China’s slowing economy and its impact on global demand persist. Those concerns have also negatively affected commodity stocks this year as China is the world’s biggest consumer of metals.
The China inflation data comes ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on Dec. 15-16, when the central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006.
“We’re still in pretty good shape for a Fed rate hike next week. If the Fed fails to raise rates, it will certainly raise volatility in the markets again and the Fed doesn’t want that,” Brady said.
U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, as the rout in oil prices pressured energy stocks for the fifth day.
Data expected on Wednesday include wholesale figures for October at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT). The wholesale inventories are forecast to have gained 0.1 percent after adding 0.5 percent in September.
Dow Chemical was up 9.5 percent at $55.74 while DuPont jumped 10.4 percent to $73.65 in premarket trading after sources told Reuters the companies are in talks to merge, creating a chemicals giant with a market value of more than $120 billion.
Yahoo was up 1.81 percent at $35.48, after the company’s board decided not to sell its Alibaba stake. Alibaba was up 0.3 percent at $84.64
Lululemon Athletica was down 11.04 percent at $46.50 after the yogawear retailer cut the upper end of its full-year forecast and reported a fall in quarterly profit. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal and Aastha Agnihotri; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)