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U.S. Stocks May Move Back To The Downside In Early Trading

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Stocks may come under pressure in early trading on Wednesday, moving back to the downside following the rebound seen in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 145 points.

A report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected pullback in U.S. retail sales in the month of April may weigh on the markets in early trading.

The Commerce Department said retail sales edged down by 0.2 percent in April after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.7 percent in March.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 1.6 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a steep drop in auto sales, retail sales inched up by 0.1 percent in April after surging up by 1.3 percent in March, although ex-auto sales had been expected to climb by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the New York Federal Reserve showed an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index jumped to 17.8 in May from 10.1 in April, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to drop to 8.5.

With the unexpected increase, the New York Fed's general business conditions index reached its highest level since November of 2018.

Just before the start of trading, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on industrial production in the month of April. Industrial production is expected to show no change in April after edging down by 0.1 percent in March.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on business inventories in the month of March shortly after the start of trading. Business inventories are also expected to come in unchanged.

The National Association of Home Builders is also due to release its report on homebuilder confidence in the month of May. The housing market index is expected to inch up to 64 in May from 63 in April.

Following the sell-off seen on Monday, stocks showed a notable move back to the upside during the trading day on Tuesday. With the rebound, the Dow bounced off its lowest closing level in three months.

The major averages gave back ground going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Dow advanced 207.06 points or 0.8 percent to 25,532.05, the Nasdaq jumped 87.47 points or 1.1 percent to 7,734.49 and the S&P 500 climbed 22.54 points or 0.8 percent to 2,834.41.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday following recent weakness. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.6 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index spiked by 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.8 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.69 to $61.09 a barrel after climbing $0.74 to $61.78 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, after falling $5.50 to $1,296.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $4.70 to $1,301 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.18 yen compared to the 109.61 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1183 compared to yesterday's $1.1204.

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