Inflation whacks stock futures into negative territory

U.S. stock index futures quickly reversed direction Wednesday morning before the opening bell after the government reported a larger increase in January inflation than analysts were expecting.

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While the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 156 points before January Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released, they quickly plunged into triple-digit losses after it was reported that the (CPI) jumped by 0.5% in January.

Economists surveyed by Reuters expected the CPI to have increased by 0.3% in January, compared to the 0.2% in December.

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Inflation has recently hit the markets, and was attributed to the market sell-off that started on Feb. 2.

Other data released pre-bell included retail sales data, which were softer than expected.

The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 were also in negative territory before the opening bell.

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