US stock futures pare gains after inflation, retail sales data

  • Federal Reserve's policy announcement due Wednesday.
  • Economic data on CPI and retail sales and business released.

U.S. stock index futures gave back some gains on Wednesday as investors digested the laest round of inflation and retail sales data.

Dow futures rose 25 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures gained 1.25 points and 8.25 points, respectively. Notable technology names like Nvidia, Amazon, Tesla and Alphabet all saw their stock prices rise before the bell. Markets closed at new highs Tuesday following a rebound in technology stocks.

The consumer price index for May came in weaker than expected, as did last month's retail sales.

Gold prices spiked on the back of the news, with gold futures trading 0.4 percent higher at $1,274.10 per ounce.

Traders will be looking ahead to the second day of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, in which it is largely expected to raise interest rates and announce its plans for the U.S. balance sheet. The announcement is due at 2 p.m. E.T.

But the recent slowdown in inflation has become a red flag for markets, which doubt the Fed's ability to hike a second time before year end.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen holds a post-meeting briefing and is expected to provide some more detail on the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet. The Fed hopes to begin shrinking that balance sheet this year by scaling back a program to replace Treasury and mortgage securities as they mature.

The latest read on the consumer price index, retail sales and business inventories are all due Wednesday.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.7 percent higher on Wednesday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.74 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.08 percent lower.

In oil markets, prices fell ahead of the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventories data release.

Brent crude traded $48.39 a barrel on Tuesday, down 0.68 percent, while U.S. crude was around $46.07 a barrel, down 0.88 percent.