U.S. stock index futures slipped on Wednesday, as grim data out of China cast a shadow over market sentiment, while investors awaited more developments related to the U.S.-China trade dispute.
Markets took a breather on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump called the trade war with Beijing as "a little squabble" and said he would talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 Summit in Japan late next month. The optimistic comments followed a market rout on Monday when the S&P 500 and the Dow recorded one of Wall Street's worst declines this year as the two sides imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's imports.
However, China is running out of options to hit back at the United States without hurting its own interests. Data from Beijing showed surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April, adding pressure on the country to roll out more stimulus. Concerns that the trade dispute could be protracted and may impact the global economy has kept investors on edge over the past couple of days, with the benchmark S&P index now about 4% below its all-time high reached two weeks ago.
At 6:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 75 points, or 0.29%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 7.75 points, or 0.27% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 18.75 points, or 0.25%. Among stocks, Perrigo Company PLC dropped 1.3% in premarket trading as Jefferies lowered its price target on the generic drugmaker after the company's recent move to divest its higher-margin generic pet care business.
Henry Schein Inc fell 1.2% after SVB Leerink downgraded the distributor of the dental product to "market perform" from "outperform", citing competitive threat from online suppliers such as Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc. On the macro front, the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to report retail sales numbers for April at 8:30 a.m. ET, which is expected to rise by 0.2%, following a 1.6% rise in March.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)