Futures Slump as Economic Growth Nearly Stalls

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures fell on Wednesday after a much weaker-than-expected U.S. GDP reading offset a positive ADP report.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:37 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 14 points, or 0.13%, to 16455, S&P 500 futures dipped 2.5 points, or 0.13%, to 1869 and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 12.3 points, or 0.32%, to 3553.

Wall Street has pushed higher in nine of the past 11 sessions, but it's been a shaky ride higher. The economy is expected to take center stage on Wednesday as traders parsed through a slew of economic data.

The Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 0.1% in the first quarter, the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012. Wall Street was looking for annualized growth of 1.2% for the world's biggest economy.

Payroll processor ADP reported the private sector added 220,000 jobs in April, more than the 210,000 jobs analysts expected. The data come ahead of the all-important monthly jobs report on Friday.

Later in the morning, a report from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago is estimated to show the pace of expansion in the Midwestern manufacturing sector picked up in April from March.

Lastly, the Federal Reserve releases its monetary policy statement at about 2 p.m. ET. The central bank is likely to cut its bond purchases by $10 billion a month to a total of $45 billion as it continues winding down its unorthodox easing program. The forward guidance for short-term interest rates will probably be left unchanged as well, economists said.

A flash reading on eurozone inflation showed prices climbed by 0.7% on a year-to-year basis, weaker than expectations of a 0.8% increase. Economists at Nomura said the persistently low inflation readings are likely to push the European Central Bank to cut interest rates to record lows.

Deflation -- a situation in which prices fall -- is frequently a caustic situation that can take decades to repair. In fact, the Bank of Japan has embarked on an ultra-accommodative monetary policy path in an attempt to escape its own deflation trap. The BOJ renewed that policy Wednesday.

In corporate news, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) posted headline earnings figures that topped expectations. However, lighter-than-expected user growth sent shares of the micro-blogging site tumbling. EBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) shares also fell on a disappointing full-year outlook.

Energizer Holdings (NYSE:ENR) said it will split itself into two businesses: Household items and personal care products. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) revealed mixed results, beating on the bottom line, but missing on the top line.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures dropped $1.19, or 1.2%, to $100.10 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.49% to $3.048 a gallon. Gold slumped $6, or 0.46%, to $1,290 a troy ounce.

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