Futures are lower ahead of a lot of data

Screen Shot 2016 03 15 at 7.32.45 AM copyInvesting.comCrude oil is rolling over

Stock futures were lower on Tuesday morning ahead of a busy data-release schedule.

Near 7:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures were down 69 points, S&P 500 futures were down 10 points, and Nasdaq futures were down 15 points — all by less than 1%.

These declines come after a flat close on Wall Street on Monday, the lightest day for volume this year.

The data due today include retail sales, the producer price index, and Empire manufacturing at 8:30 a.m. ET. At 10, home builder sentiment will cross. It’s the busiest day for economic releases after over a week of relative quietness, and ahead of the all-important Fed decision on Wednesday.

We got the Bank of Japan overnight, which made no changes to its negative benchmark rates and removed language in its statement that pointed to further rate cuts if necessary. The yen strengthened against the dollar.

Crude oil prices continued falling this morning, with West Texas Intermediate crude down 2.5% to as low as $37.41 per barrel. On Monday, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak said a global production-freeze deal could come in April but exclude Iran, which is looking to stabilise its output at 4 million barrels per day. This apparently put some downward pressure on oil.

After the market close, the American Petroleum Institute will release its proprietary weekly numbers on crude inventories.

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