US pre-open: Stocks to drop amid shutdown worries, China slowdown
US stocks looked set for losses at the open on Thursday amid concerns about the government shutdown and following weaker-than-forecast Chinese inflation data.
At 1215 GMT, Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were down 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively, while Nasdaq futures were 0.6% weaker.
Sentiment was likely to take a hit from lower-than-expected Chinese inflation data released overnight and failed US government shutdown talks.
President Trump stormed out of a meeting with Congressional Democrat leaders on Wednesday after they continued to refuse his demands to fund a border wall with Mexico. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer said Trump "slammed the table" before abruptly leaving the meeting after House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not approve funding for the wall.
Worries about a slowdown in China were also expected to weigh on markets after the producer price index for December rose 0.9% from a year ago in December, missing expectations of a 1.6% increase. The consumer price index, meanwhile, was up 1.9% last month on the year, compared to expectations for 2.1% growth.
Trade relations between the US and China were still firmly in focus after the Chinese Commerce Industry issued a statement saying that the "extensive, deep and detailed" three-day talks between the two countries had "laid the foundations " for their dispute to be revolved.
CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "We were updated yesterday that the discussions ended on a positive note, but there is still some way to go. China has agreed to purchase more US goods, and progress has been made in relation to intellectual property rights, but the full picture has yet to be revealed. The lack of new news has prompted dealers to take some profit off the table."
He added that the inflation data released overnight by China "is another clear sign" that the country is slowing down.
In corporate news, shares in department store retailer Target could be active after it reported a 5.7% jump in comparable sales for the last two months of the year and announced the retirement of chief financial officer Cathy Smith.
On the data front, initial jobless claims are at 1330 GMT.