Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq set to open higher as traders eye earnings, economic data

6.30am: PPI, industrial production and retail data in focus

Wall Street is expected to open moderately higher as corporate earnings season progresses and traders watch out for a deluge of economic data to gauge the health of the US economy. 

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% in Wednesday pre-market trading, while those for the broader S&P 500 index gained 0.2% and contracts for the Nasdaq-100 added 0.1%. 

While companies reporting quarterly earnings today include Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), Prologis and PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC) Group, “all eyes will be on retail sales and industrial production data both of which are expected to show continued weakness. Industrial production is set to have taken a hit from significant winter storms seen stateside,” commented TickMill Group’s market analyst Patrick Munnelly. 

“On the retail sales side of the ledger, weakness is expected to be driven by record declines in the used car sales market,” he added. “The US data slate is rounded out today with producer prices data which is expected to follow CPI’s lead and show a build in disinflationary pressures for producers, investors will have one eye on the wires as Fed officials are set to make further remarks today.”

Retail sales are expected to have decreased by 0.8% in December, while the consensus is for a 0.1% decrease in industrial production and a decline in capacity utilization to 79.6%. 

December’s producer price index (PPI) is expected to show a decline as lower gasoline prices help ease production costs. The consensus is for a year-over-year moderation in the PPI to 6.8% from 7.4% in November.