Stock futures are flat as investors look ahead to economic data, Federal Reserve speeches

Strategas' Chris Verrone charts out the markets

Stock futures were flat Wednesday night as investors awaited economic data and speeches from Federal Reserve leaders

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9 points, or 0.03%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 0.03% and 0.05%, respectively.

The moves come after stocks dropped in regular trading. The S&P 500 tumbled 1.56% for its worst day since Dec. 15. The Dow shed more than 613 points, or 1.81%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.24%, snapping seven-straight days of gains. Bank stocks such as JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo slid, weighing on the broader market.

Disappointing retail sales and a weaker-than-expected producer price index reading ignited recession fears, sending stocks lower. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell to the lowest level since September.

“The data continue to confirm sharp declines in inflation,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group. “The question now is whether the economy can weather the sharp increase in rates to tackle inflation.”

He added that while those who said inflation was transitory may feel vindicated now, the cost to get there has yet to play out.

“At a minimum, there will be a profits recession, and that will keep stocks in check until that plays out,” he said.

On Thursday, investors will weigh more economic data that could give further clues as how much the Fed may raise interest rates in its upcoming meeting. Initial jobless claims, housing starts and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing survey will be released in the morning.

Several central bank leaders including Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard will also speak throughout the day on the path forward.

Investors will also be watching key quarterly reports to see if there is an earnings recession brewing. Netflix, Procter & Gamble and Truist Financial are among companies reporting earnings on Thursday.