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U.S. Stocks May Move Modestly Lower In Early Trading

wallstreet july23 13jan21 lt

After ending the previous session modestly higher, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 43 points.

Concerns about political uncertainty may weigh on the markets as House Democrats prepare to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.

Democrats plan to impeach Trump over allegations that he incited last week's violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

The move by Democrats comes as Vice President Mike Pence has indicated he will not invoke the 25th Amendment as part of an effort to remove Trump from office.

"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution," Pence wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing U.S. consumer prices increased in line with economist estimates in the month of December.

The report said the consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent in December after edging up by 0.2 percent in November. The price growth matched expectations.

The Labor Department said the advance by the consumer price index was driven by an 8.4 percent jump in gasoline prices, which accounted for more than 60 percent of the overall increase.

Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in December after rising by 0.2 percent in November. The uptick in core prices also matched economist estimates.

Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book, a compilation of economic evidence from the twelve Fed districts.

U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday after a somewhat lackluster session, as investors largely refrained from making significant moves.

Political tensions in the U.S. and worries about rising coronavirus cases weighed on stocks, while optimism about another big fiscal stimulus pushed up prices. Investors were also looking ahead to quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow ended the day with a gain of 60.00 points or 0.2 percent at 31,068.69 after rising to a high of 31,114.56. The S&P 500 edged up 1.58 points less than 0.1 percent to 3,801.19, while the Nasdaq closed up by 36.00 points or 0.3 percent at 13,072.43.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.43 to $53.64 a barrel after jumping $0.96 to $53.21 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,859, up $14.80 compared to the previous session's close of $1,844.20. On Tuesday, gold fell $6.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 103.87 yen compared to the 103.76 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.2165 compared to yesterday's $1.2207.

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