NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures slid on Wednesday as consumer prices in July increased at a softer-than-expected pace.
S&P 500 futures were down 0.33%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.43%, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.27%.
Consumer prices nudged 0.1% higher, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, half the increase economists had expected. Higher housing costs drove the reading higher in July, while the remainder of factors such as energy and food costs remained soft.
The minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting in July will be released mid-afternoon Wednesday and will be closely examined for clues as to whether the central bank is ready to hike interest rates at the September meeting.
But there was plenty else for Fed watchers to keep busy with on Wednesday after Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal arguing against a rate increase.
Raising rates "would create profound economic risks for the U.S. economy," he wrote. "Given the prevailing economic conditions, higher interest rates would push the economy away from the FOMC's economic goals, not toward them."
Jeffrey Gundlach, co-founder of investment firm DoubleLine Capital, backed up Kocherlakota's argument. Speaking with CNBC, Gundlach noted that hiking rates would be detrimental to the economy given the current price of junk bonds.
"To raise interest rates when junk bonds are nearly at a four-year low is a bad idea," he said. "It opens the lid on a Pandora's Box of a tightening cycle."
Lowe's (LOW fell more than 1% in premarket trading after reporting net income of $1.20 a share, 4 cents below estimates. However, revenue of $17.3 billion climbed 4.2% from a year earlier and came in above analysts' estimates.
Staples (SPLS slid 2.3% after reporting a quarterly sales decline of 7.6% at North American stores and online and guiding for a current-quarter sales decline. Earnings of 12 cents a share matched expectations.
Target (TGT shares were on watch after the retailer beat quarterly expectations on the top- and bottom-line and increased full-year guidance. The company expects 2015 earnings between $4.60 and $4.75 a share, up from a previous forecast of $4.50 to $4.56.
Seagate (STX announced on Wednesday that it is acquiring Dot Hill Systems (HILL for $654 million in cash or $9.75 a share. The deal values the storage software company at a 88% premium to Tuesday's closing price. Dot Hill shares rocketed more than 80% higher in premarket trading.