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The open: Weakness abounds Add to ...

U.S. stock futures traded slightly lower Wednesday morning as investors took some time to consider an inflation report that showed prices falling at the fastest pace on record and also mulled over a late earnings report yesterday from Intel Corp.

The Dow Jones industrial average was 0.24 per cent lower, while the S&P 500 was trading down 0.23. The sentiment was more determined for the technology-heavy Nasdaq, which was trading down about 0.75 per cent.

Before the open the U.S. Labor Department said consumer prices dropped 0.1 per cent in March, as energy fell at the same time as tobacco posted its largest gain in a decade. Analysts had expected a 0.1 per cent rise.

Meanwhile, manufacturing firms in New York reported that business was still bad in April, but not as bad as in March. The Empire State index moved to negative 14.7 in April from negative 38.2 in March. Anything below zero indicates more companies reported their businessses were declining.

Markets are looking to rebound from a weak Tuesday, when investors sold off following a report that retail sales were lower than expected in March. After the close, Intel reported that its first quarter profit surpassed expectations and that the PC market likely bottomed out. However, some investors were concerned about a lack of guidance for future quarters.

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