US STOCKS-Wall Street to dip at open after Empire State data

Wed May 15, 2013 9:22am EDT
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* Deere falls on after earnings, outlook

* Empire State contracts to lowest level in four months

* PPI shows weak inflation pressure

* Futures off: Dow 17 pts, S&P off 3.3 pts, Nasdaq off 3.75 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to dip at the open on Wednesday, indicating the S&P 500 may ease from its most recent record high after weaker-than-expected manufacturing data.

Data showed activity in New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted to its lowest level in four months, falling to minus 1.43 from 3.05 in April, and below expectations for an increase to 4.

But a separate report showed producer prices recorded their largest drop in three years in April, falling by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month, its biggest decline since February 2010, which should enable the Federal Reserve to maintain its accommodative monetary policy.

"Empire (State general business conditions index data) is bad and that is consistent with what we have been seeing at the national level and the regional level," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist, at Federated Investors in New York.   Continued...