U.S. stock futures edged lower Wednesday ahead of a vote by lawmakers on impeaching President Trump during his final week in office.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked down about 0.2%, suggesting that the broad market index may be choppy after the opening bell. Nasdaq-100 futures also dropped about 0.2%.
Stocks have drifted lower this week after notching record highs in early January as investors weighed the prospect of fresh government spending against political turmoil in Washington and still rising Covid-19 cases. Energy and banking are among the best performers so far in the new year as investors bet on companies that fared poorly in 2020 and are likely to benefit as the economy recovers.
“Markets are going to remain choppy for a while, but through it all, we remain cautiously optimistic,” said Altaf Kassam, head of investment strategy for State Street Global Advisors in Europe. “The amount of fiscal stimulus that is possible will protect risky assets, and there is still a lot of cash on the sidelines.”
U.S. inflation data out Wednesday showed that consumer prices increased only moderately last month, reflecting weak demand for a range of goods and services. Some economists expect inflation to pick up the pace as the economy grows faster later this year.