U.S. index futures are down in pre-market trading as investors await the release of January’s Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) deflator, a key indicator for the Federal Reserve (Fed). Anxiety mounts following surprises in CPI and PPI indices, while the Fed maintains a cautious stance on interest rate cuts.

At 05:40, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) fell 124 points, or 0.32%. S&P 500 futures declined 0.28%, and Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.25%. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds was at 4.311%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April rose 0.13% to $78.64 a barrel. Brent crude oil for April rose 0.02%, close to $83.70 a barrel. Iron ore traded on the Dalian exchange fell 0.17% to $123.98 per metric ton.

Asian markets closed without a unified direction on Thursday. While some showed caution ahead of upcoming U.S. inflation data, Chinese markets advanced with new initiatives from Beijing. Japan’s Nikkei was slightly in the red for the second consecutive day, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi also recorded declines of -0.15% and -0.37%, respectively. On the other hand, China’s Shanghai SE saw a significant increase of +1.94%, while Australia’s ASX 200 closed up +0.50%.

European markets are operating in positive territory as investors closely follow inflation reports in both the U.S. and Europe. Today, inflation data for February from Germany, Spain, and France is expected to be released, capturing market participants’ attention.

On the U.S. economic agenda for Thursday, highlights include the release of the PCE index at 08:30, reflecting January’s spending and personal income, and last week’s unemployment insurance claims at the same time, both by the Department of Commerce. In addition, January’s pending home sales will be presented at 10:00 AM.

On Wednesday, U.S. markets showed a partial recovery after a negative start but closed lower. The Dow Jones slightly decreased, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also retreated, reflecting investors’ caution ahead of the inflation data release. The initial volatility was driven by profit-taking and the anticipation of significant economic indicators, highlighting the market’s sensitivity to changes in economic outlook and monetary policies.

For quarterly earnings, financial reports are scheduled to be presented before the market opens from Celsius (NASDAQ:CELH), Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ), Melco (NASDAQ:MLCO), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), Polestar (NASDAQ:PSNY), Birkenstock (NYSE:BIRK), AbInBev (NYSE:BUD), Bath & Body Works (NYSE:BBWI), Brinks (NYSE:BCO), among others.

After the market closes, investors await results from Zcaler (NASDAQ:ZS), SoundHound AI (NASDAQ:SOUN), Fisker (NYSE:FSR), Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), AutoDesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), Veeva (NYSE:VEEV), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE), NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP), and more.

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