Futures Fall on Warnings of Higher Costs

U.S. stock futures fell on Wednesday after another major retailer warned of rising cost pressures, confirming the fears over inflation that have sent major benchmarks to big losses so far this year.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials slumped 199 points, or 0.6%, to 32,382

Futures for the S&P 500 fell 33 points, or 0.8%, to 4,051.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite Index turfed 143.25 points, or 1.1%, to 12,416.50.

Despite the recent comeback, the S&P 500 is down 14% for the year, while the NASDAQ is off by 23%.

Target shares dropped more than 22% in pre-market trading after it reported first-quarter earnings much lower than Wall Street estimated because of higher costs for fuel and compensation. The retailer also saw lower-than-expected sales for discretionary merchandise like TVs.

Lowe’s shares fell more than 2% in premarket trading after missing sales expectations in its first quarter report as shoppers bought fewer supplies for outdoor projects.

On Tuesday, Walmart’s earnings fell short of expectations as it too cited higher fuel and labour costs. Walmart shares ended Tuesday lower

Stocks and other risk assets have been pressured by inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempt to tamp down price increases through rate hikes, which has led to concerns about a potential recession. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a Wall Street Journal conference on Tuesday that “there won’t be any hesitation” about raising rates until inflation is under control.

However, some recent economic data, including the jobs report and retail sales data from April, still show the U.S. economy growing.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 picked up 0.9% Wednesday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng took on 0.2%.

Oil prices regrouped $2.61 to $115.01 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices ditched $10.80 to $1,808.10 U.S. an ounce.