Stock Futures Pare Losses After Import Prices Fall
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were trading sideways Tuesday as investors balanced a subdued inflation report against some weak economic numbers overseas and Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia president Charles Plosser's remarks on reducing the central bank's bond buying.
Futures for the S&P 500 were up 1.5 points, or 1.78 points above fair value, to 1,632.25.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said early Tuesday that U.S. import prices fell 0.5% in April, as expected by economists, following a 0.2% decrease in March. Lower prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the declines each month. Prices for U.S. exports decreased by a more-than-expected 0.7% in April after a 0.5% decline in March. Economists were expecting a fall of 0.5%.
The Mannheim-based ZEW Center for European Economic Research reported Tuesday that its index on German investor sentiment rose to 36.4 in May from 36.3 in April, missing the average economist forecast of 38.3, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Plosser, earlier speaking at the Center for Business and Policy Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, said that the Fed should scale back its bond-buying.
"I believe that labor market conditions warrant scaling back the pace of purchases as soon as our next meeting," said Plosser in prepared remarks. "Moreover, unless we see a significant reversal in current trends that jeopardizes my forecast of near 7% unemployment rate by the end of this year, then I anticipate that we could end the program before year-end."
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Other reports weighing on sentiment Tuesday morning are Chinese media reports suggesting that the country is poised to reduce its official growth target to 7% from 7.5%.