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Dow futures fall 30 pts; uncertainty ahead of Fed meeting

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Tuesday, continuing to hand back some of last week’s chunky gains as investors fret about the uncertain economic outlook ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting.

At 06:55 ET (10:55 GMT), the Dow futures contract was down 30 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures traded 3 points, or 0.1% lower, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 10 points, or 0.1%.

The main Wall Street indices closed lower Monday, as confidence generated by the passing of the bill to lift the federal debt ceiling ebbed away in the face of further evidence that growth in the largest economy in the world was slowing.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 200 points, or 0.6%, the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, after last week posting its best week since March, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1% higher.

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Monday’s unexpectedly soft U.S. services data may have tilted the balance of expectations towards a rate pause by the Federal Reserve next week after 10 consecutive rate hikes, but uncertainty still reigns as inflation remains well above the central bank’s target.

The “activity and price levels [of the May ISM services data] supported the US recessionary narrative and further questioned the quality of Friday's strong NFP jobs report,” said analysts at ING, in a note. “However, the US data calendar is now pretty quiet for the rest of this week and the market may well hold positions into next week's May CPI data and the June 14th FOMC meeting.”

This month's rate decision will be accompanied by a new set of "dot-plot" forecasts by the Fed policymakers on the direction of rates, as well as gross domestic product and unemployment in the coming months.

In corporate news, earnings are scheduled from the likes of the maker of jellies and spreads J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), recreational vehicles manufacturer Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) and Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX), the online personal styling firm.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will also remain in the spotlight after the tech giant unveiled its new Vision Pro mixed reality headset at an event on Monday.

Oil prices retreated Tuesday, handing back some of the previous session’s sharp gains as traders returned their attention to the weakening U.S. economic backdrop after the Saudi production cut.

By 06:55 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2.3% lower at $70.52 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 2.1% to $75.11.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter, pledged over the weekend an additional cut of around one million barrels per day from July compared with its production levels in May, in an attempt to boost slumping crude prices.

Industry data from the American Petroleum Institute estimating the size of U.S. crude stocks last week are due later in the session, following on from the hefty 5 million barrels increase the prior week.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,980.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.0696.

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