U.S. futures mixed; Inflation data, ECB meeting, GameStop, Jobless claims, and more

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Wall Street

Stock futures mixed ahead of May inflation figures

U.S. stock futures were mixed before the opening bell Wednesday as Wall Street eagerly awaited the release of May inflation data at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economists are saying we could see the biggest year-on-year rise in U.S. consumer prices since 1993, with core CPI jumping by as much as 3.5%.

A continued rise in consumer prices would put pressure on Fed policymakers to dial back its current expansive monetary policy stance, and that spells doom for growth stocks.

As of 5:25 a.m. ET, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 43 points, or 0.12% to 34,480. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gave away 31 points, or 0.22% to 13,783.25 while the S&P 500 futures were little changed.

ECB meeting in focus

The European Central Bank’s latest policy meeting, where it is expected to maintain a generous flow of stimulus, is also shaping up to be a big market moving event today.

Expectations are for the central bank to keep interest rates at historic lows and maintain its massive bond-buying program in place at the conclusion of the meeting.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is likely to face questions on how the bank plans to wean the euro zone economy off crisis support during a news conference at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Last month, Lagarde said it was “still too early” for the ECB to talk about rolling back its 1.85 trillion euro emergency bond purchase scheme amid concerns about a potential spike in borrowing costs.

Weekly jobless claims data on tap

Traders will also looking for clues on whether the pace of job gains is increasing when the U.S. Department of Labor publishes first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended June 5 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economists in a survey by the Wall Street Journal are expecting initial claims to fall to 370,000 from 385,000 the week earlier. Continuing claims for jobless benefits are projected to dip to 3.65 million from 3.771 million.

GameStop slides premarket after confirming SEC inquiry

Meanwhile, shares of GameStop (NYSE: GME) fell more than 5.64% to $285.5 before the bell Thursday, after the company confirmed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on May 26 requested it to provide information regarding “trading activity in our securities and the securities of other companies.”

GameStop said that it was “in the process of reviewing the request and producing the requested documents and intend to cooperate fully with the SEC Staff regarding this matter.”

The video game retailer also reported a wider-than-anticipated first-quarter net loss of $66.8 million. However, revenue grew 25% on a year-over-year to about $1.28 billion, slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates of $1.16 billion.

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