WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After ending the previous session mostly lower, stocks may see some further downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 116 points.
Concerns about the global economic outlook may continue to weigh on the markets, although trading activity is likely to be somewhat subdued ahead of the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
The Fed is due to release the minutes of its May 3-4 meeting at 2 pm ET. At the meeting, the central bank decided to raise interest rates by 50 basis points.
Traders are likely to look to the minutes for clues about how aggressively the Fed plans to raise interest rates at upcoming meetings.
CME Group's FedWatch Tool currently indicates a 93.3 percent chance the Fed will raise rates by another 50 basis points at its next meeting in mid-June.
On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed new orders for durable goods increased by less than expected in the month of April.
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by 0.4 percent in April after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.6 percent in March.
Economists had expected durable goods orders to advance by 0.6 percent compared to the 1.1 percent jump that had been reported for the previous month.
Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders edged up by 0.3 percent in April after surging by 1.1 percent in March. Ex-transportation orders were also expected to increase by 0.6 percent.
Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday, giving back ground following the strong upward move seen in Monday's session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly steep drop on the day, ending the session at its lowest closing level since November of 2020.
The Nasdaq climbed off its worst levels of the day but still closed down 270.83 points or 2.4 percent at 11,264.45. The S&P 500 also slid 32.27 points or 0.8 percent to 3,941.48, while the narrower Dow managed to close modestly higher, up 48.38 points or 0.2 percent at 31,928.62.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.2 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.27 to $111.04 a barrel after falling $0.52 to $109.77 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,854.80, down $10.60 compared to the previous session's close of $1,865.40. On Tuesday, gold climbed $17.60.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 126.93 yen compared to the 126.83 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0659 compared to yesterday's $1.0736.
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