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US pre-open: Futures mixed as traders look ahead to CPI reading

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were mixed ahead of the bell on Wednesday as traders waited for the release of last month's CPI reading tomorrow. As of 1225 GMT, Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures were down 0.14% and 0.05%, respectively, while Nasdaq-100 futures had the index opening 0.08% firmer.

The Dow closed 157.85 points lower on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq Composite eked out a modest gain.

Investors were mostly looking ahead to the latest consumer price index report on Thursday, with economists expecting to see CPI rising 3.2% year-on-year in December. Market participants will thumb over the data in search of any hints as to exactly when the central bank may see fit to start cutting interest rates after expectations have been reeled back in the last few days.

Also drawing an amount of investor attention, cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Marathon Digital fell in pre-market trading as bitcoin prices headed south as a result of an incorrect announcement on the US Securities and Exchange Commission's X account, stating that it had approved bitcoin ETFs.

On the macro front, mortgage application volume rose 9.9% in the week ended 5 January, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the biggest increase in a year and despite the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increasing to 6.81% from 6.76%. Applications to refinance a home loan surged 19% week-on-week and were 30% higher year-on-year, while applications for a mortgage to purchase a home rose 6% week-on-week but were 16% lower than at the same time a year ago.

Still to come, November's wholesale inventories numbers will be out at 1500 GMT, while Federal Reserve Bank of New York president John Williams will deliver a speech at 2015 GMT.

No major corporate earnings were slated for release on Wednesday but traders were patiently awaiting the beginning of another earnings season, with results from banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America due on Friday, as well as quarterly report cards from the likes of UnitedHealth and Delta Air Lines.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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