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Stock futures are flat ahead of big inflation report

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US stock futures were little changed Tuesday as investors braced for a key inflation report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped just 29 points or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures shed less than 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 futures outperformed, climbing 0.1%.

The moves come as investors await the release of March’s highly anticipated consumer price index on Tuesday. The data is expected to show an 8.4% annual increase in prices — the highest level since December 1981 — according to economists polled by Dow Jones, with rising food costs, rents and energy prices expected as the main contributors to the spike.

“I think by the summer we’ll probably see the CPI inflation rate peaking and then the consumption deflator is going to peak somewhere between 6 and 7% and then come down to maybe 3 to 4% by the second half of the year going into next year,” Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Monday.

The recent spike in US inflation has helped increase expectations of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. The Fed raised rates at its March meeting, and it’s expected to hike more throughout the year.

Treasury yields have also jumped to multi-year highs. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield traded at 2.801% on Tuesday, reaching levels not seen in more than three years.

Along with March CPI, investors are awaiting the start of earnings season set to kick off Wednesday with JPMorgan and Delta Air Lines, followed by several big banks on Thursday.

Wall Street was coming off a downbeat session, with the Dow and S&P 500 each falling more than 1%, while the Nasdaq dropped more than 2%.

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