Stocks seek direction as Dow, S&P flirt with records

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U.S. stock futures were little changed Wednesday morning with the major averages set to open near record highs. 

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 21 points, or 0.06%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.09% and 0.3%, respectively. 

Both the Dow and the S&P 500 finished Tuesday’s session fractionally below all-time highs. The Nasdaq Composite was 1.5% below its own peak. 

In stocks, Clover Health Investments Corp. was on track for a third day of big gains as shares continued to benefit from the backing of traders on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets. 

Meanwhile, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., another favorite of the WallStreetBets crowd, was set for sizable losses as shares lingered near all-time highs. 

Fellow meme stock GameStop Corp. will release its quarterly results after the closing bell. Shares of the video-game retailer have soared 1,492% this year. 

Elsewhere, Ferrari N.V. named Benedetto Vigna, who currently runs the biggest division of chipmaker STMicroelectronics, as CEO. He replaces former chief executive Louis Camilleri, who retired in December due to personal reasons. 

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. increased prices by about 4% to help offset rising labor costs. The fast-casual restaurant chain plans to hire 20,000 additional employees and raise the average hourly wage to $15 by the end of the month.

In earnings, Campbell Soup Co. said its quarterly profit fell 5% as rising material and supply chain costs hurt its bottom line. The company expects margins to remain under pressure as the economy transitions away from the business conditions caused by COVID-19. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 30 cents to $70.35 a barrel, its highest since October 2018, while gold fell $2.40 to $1,892 an ounce.

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Overseas markets were mostly lower. 

European bourses were weaker across the board with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.57%, Germany’s DAX 30 falling 0.55% France’s CAC 40 declining 0.05%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.35% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.13% while China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.32%.