Futures head lower as hopes for stimulus fade

Associated Press Modified: August 15, 2012 at 8:15 am •  Published: August 15, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures dipped Wednesday as expectations faded that central banks will step in with a quick fix to nudge along the fragile economic recovery.

Dow Jones industrial futures slid 22 points to 13,111. The broader S&P futures gave up 2.4 points to 1,399.20. Nasdaq futures fell 3.5 points to 2,723.25.

Economic indicators, including those released this week, will likely ease the sense of urgency among fiscal policy makers to act proactively.

Retail sales numbers Tuesday were much better than expected and economists expect industrial production likely increased in July as automakers boosted activity. The industrial report will be released at 9:15 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday by the Federal Reserve.

Policy makers have room to move. The Labor Department said Wednesday that consumer prices were unchanged in July from June. The consumer price index hasn't changed since March as a weak economy subdues inflation.

Yet fears of inflation in China, the world's second-largest economy, may be keeping policy makers there from the same aggressive moves they took in 2008. Beijing appears to be trying to pilot a self-sustaining expansion, even as the debt crisis in Europe and meager domestic demand slow those efforts.

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