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Market Snapshot: Wall Street flails for direction ahead of earnings

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U.S. stock futures struggled for direction Tuesday as inflation worries ahead of third-quarter earnings are capping gains.

What’s happening
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    YM00,
    -0.11%

    slipped 18 points, or 0.1%, to 34358
  • Futures on the S&P 500
    ES00,
    -0.05%

    slipped 3 points, or 0.1%, to 4,349
  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100
    NQ00,
    +0.12%

    rose 3 points to 14703

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.72%

fell 250 points, or 0.72%, to 34496, the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.69%

declined 30 points, or 0.69%, to 4361, and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-0.64%

dropped 93 points, or 0.64%, to 14486. Columbus Day marked the third-lowest volume day of the year, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

What’s driving markets

With earnings season set to start on Wednesday, investors are worried that supply-chain woes and inflation will eat into corporate profits.

Earnings per share for S&P 500 constituents are forecast to grow 25% in the third quarter, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Second-quarter EPS grew a spectacular 89%.

“Many companies that move or make things have been warning of profit pressures owing to rising input costs and supply chain related production shortfalls. This is reflected in prudent analyst consensus earnings per share estimates for the third quarter,” said David Bianco, chief investment officer for the Americas at DWS.

DWS still is forecasting a 4,400 level for the S&P 500 at the end of the year.

Ahead of consumer price data on Wednesday, there’s also a report on job openings slated for release at 10 a.m. Eastern.

: Short-selling firm says it’s covered its bet against AMC

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