Dow futures fall 200 points ahead of more retail earnings

U.S. stock futures were lower in early morning trading on Wednesday ahead of more retail earnings.

Dow futures fell 216 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both traded in negative territory.

On Tuesday, the major averages ended the day in the red after notching gains earlier in the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 267 points, dragged down by a 3% drop in Chevron’s stock.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.9%.

The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.56% as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all closed lower. The technology-heavy index was up as much as 0.8% on Tuesday. Growth stocks have come under pressure lately on fears of inflation that could unravel the Federal Reserve’s easy policies.

“Late-day weakness in this sector is becoming commonplace adding to fears it could be headed for a longer and more pronounced period of consolidation than expected,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, told CNBC.

Weighing on sentiment, housing starts fell 9.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.569 million units in April, the Commerce Department said. Economists expected housing starts to fall to a rate of 1.7 million units last month.

Retailers Home Depot, Macy’s and Walmart all reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday.

Earnings season continues on Wednesday with more major retailers like Target, Lowe’s, TJX and L Brands. Plus, Analog Advices,, and Cisco Systems also report quarterly results.

The Federal Open Market Committee publishes the minutes from its April meeting on Wednesday.

“Investors will be scrutinizing the release of the latest Fed minutes for any subtle hints as to when some tapering actions may be forthcoming,” added Paulsen.

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