Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks set to lose grip on all-time highs as global rally stutters

Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks set to lose grip on all-time highs as global rally stutters

Wall Street stocks are poised to slip back from all-time highs Wednesday, as investors cast about for catalysts that could breathe new life into the recent rally.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMZ7, -0.04%  slipped 20 points, or 0.1%, to 22,070, while those for the S&P 500 index ESZ7, -0.10%   lost 3.70 points, or 0.2%, to 2,490.50. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQZ7, -0.16%  dropped 13.25 points, or 0.2%, to 5,991.25.

The indicated losses come after all three major U.S. benchmarks — the Dow average DJIA, +0.28% S&P 500 SPX, +0.34%  and Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.34%  — closed at records on Tuesday. That marked the first time since July 26 that they have simultaneously achieved all-time highs.

“It would appear that a running start to the week and fresh record highs in the S&P 500 has proven a little much for some traders, with profit-taking seen ahead of Wednesday’s open,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

There has been a global move into riskier assets since the beginning of the week, after Hurricane Irma turned out to be less devastating than forecast and North Korean tensions eased. But Erlam cautioned that there is still plenty of underlying geopolitical risk in the markets at the moment, even if acts of provocation have decreased and become less hostile.

“This is likely to put a cap on risk rallies for now. The longer this period of calm continues, the more relaxed investors will become which will be better for riskier assets, while safe havens will continue to experience unwinding,” he said.

The greenback, which posted solid gains on Monday and Tuesday, declined on Wednesday, with the ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.08%  down 0.1% at 91.793.

Economic news: Before the closely watched inflation report on Thursday, traders will be presented with the producer-price index for August at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday. The federal budget for August is slated for release at 2 p.m. Eastern.

See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar

Stock movers: Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.40%  slipped 0.5% ahead of the bell. The tech giant on Tuesday revealed its new lineup of gadgets, but the much anticipated new flagship iPhone X it won’t be delivered until November.

Read: Delayed iPhone X launch pressures Apple stock

And see: ‘Disappointing’ iPhone X may mean people will keep clinging to older phones

Centene Corp. CNC, +0.38%  climbed 4.5% in premarket action. The health insurer said late Tuesday it has signed an agreement in which Fidelis Care will become Centene’s health plan in the state of New York.

SeaDrill Ltd. SDRL, +17.64%  gained 4.9% before the open. The offshore driller said late Tuesday it has filed for bankruptcy protection and agreed to a major restructuring plan with its senior lenders.

Western Digital Corp. WDC, +1.60%  dropped 3.1% after losing out on a Toshiba Corp. 6502, +0.00%  Deal. Toshiba said it had picked a consortium led by Bain Capital , instead of Western Digital, to buy its chip business for more than $18 billion.

Nordstrom Inc. JWN, +0.74%  rallied 7.7% after a report late Tuesday that the retailer is taking steps to go private.

Other markets: Oil prices moved higher, with the U.S. crude benchmark CLV7, +0.97%  rising 0.9% to $48.65 a barrel. The gain came after reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is considering adding more non-cartel members to its output deal. In addition, the International Energy Agency said there are signs the oil market is tightening.

Gold prices GCZ7, +0.33%  were also higher.

Stocks in Asia closed mixed, while European indexes mostly were lower, dragged down by a slide in U.K. stocks.