U.S. stock indexes fell on Tuesday, undoing two strong days of gains that have settled some investor nerves ahead of a crucial reading on inflation.
Strong U.S. consumer price and retail sales data on Wednesday would fan fears over rising inflation and the pace of interest rate rises – the same worries that sparked a stock market rout after U.S. jobs data on Feb. 2.
Among the biggest movers were sportswear retailer Under Armour (UAA.N), up more than 15 percent on strong quarterly sales, and AmerisourceBergen (ABC.N), up 8 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported Walgreens (WBA.O) was seeking to buy out the drug distributor.
“Investors are probably positioning with a bit of a risk-off mindset going into those two (economic data reports) tomorrow,” said Matt Miskin, market strategist at John Hancock Investments.
“The core CPI estimate is a modest decrease from last month. But in the event that inflation does accelerate, that could lead volatility to continue as the Goldilocks environment may be under further pressure.”