October 10, 2018 / 12:23 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of producer price data

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* Futures down: Dow 0.08 pct, S&P 0.12 pct, Nasdaq 0.30 pct

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Wednesday on lingering concerns around slowing global growth, while investors awaited producer price data for a reading on inflation.

The U.S. Labor Department is expected to report that its producer price index (PPI) for final demand rose 0.2 percent in September, after an unexpected drop in August. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

A recent string of healthy economic data, including strong jobs and services sector activity last week, has fanned fears of rising inflation and faster interest rate hike.

That has pushed up U.S. Treasury yields to seven-and-a-half-year highs, which has weighed on the stock market.

Alongside those concerns, investors also have to consider the impact of the U.S.-China trade war on the global economy. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global growth forecast for 2018 and 2019, saying the United States and China would face the brunt of the impact of their dispute next year.

“The tone of caution is on the rise and is being amplified as the trade war with China is showing no signs of reversing,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Shares of Alibaba dropped 0.6 percent in premarket trading after Morgan Stanley and Raymond James cut their near-term profit estimates on the Chinese e-commerce company, citing a softer economic environment in China.

Apple and Amazon.com were flat. The top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee has asked the two companies and Super Micro Computer for staff briefings about a Bloomberg report that the Chinese government implanted malicious hardware into server motherboards provided by Super Micro.

At 7:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.08 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.12 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 22.25 points, or 0.3 percent.

Sears Holdings plunged 31.6 percent after the Wall Street Journal said the debt-laden retailer was preparing for a possible bankruptcy.

PPG Industries rose 3.3 percent after Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund disclosed a stake in the chemicals maker, which tumbled 10 percent on Tuesday after cutting its current-quarter forecast.

Nio jumped 9.9 percent after Tesla’s second-biggest shareholder, Baillie Gifford & Co, disclosed a stake in the Chinese electric carmaker. Tesla was up 1 percent. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)

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