Dow Futures Down 50 Pts; Jobless Claims, Retail Sales in Focus

  • Stock Market News
Dow Futures Down 50 Pts; Jobless Claims, Retail Sales in Focus
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Thursday, with investors cautious ahead of a large data dump which will provide further clues about the state of the U.S. economy as next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting looms large. 

At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 50 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 8 points, or 0.2%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 40 points, or 0.3%.

The major equity averages closed modestly higher Wednesday, after a choppy session, rebounding to a degree after suffering their worst day in two years on Tuesday.

The hotter-than-expected August inflation report continues to dominate investors’ thinking, with the prospect of another large interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve hitting sentiment.

Swaps traders are pricing in a 75 basis point hike when the Fed meets next week, but the possibility of a full-point move has grown in popularity.

A decline in producer prices provided some relief on Wednesday, and news that a rail strike has been averted will also help the tone Thursday. However, most attention will be on a number of economic reports due later in the session, and what they say about the health of the U.S. economy.

The weekly initial jobless claims figure, at 08:30 ET (12:30 GMT), will provide further evidence to the Fed on trends in the labor market. They are expected to show a small rise in the number of people claiming benefits, at 226,000, from 222,000 last week.

At the same time, August retail sales are seen rising 0.2% on the month as U.S. consumers remain resilient despite rising prices, while the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index is expected to show a decline in confidence in September.

In the corporate sector, Danaher (NYSE: DHR ) will be in focus after the medical technology company announced plans to spin off its environmental & applied solutions unit to concentrate on its life sciences and diagnostics businesses.

Workers at an Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) warehouse in the English city of Coventry are to vote on potential strike action in a dispute over pay, while computer software company Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE ) is set to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell.

Oil prices fell Thursday, weighed by a strengthening dollar, which makes the commodity more expensive for foreign buyers, as well as crude inventories in the U.S., the largest consumer in the world, rising more than expected last week, suggesting weaker fuel demand.

By 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $87.88 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.7% to $93.45.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.8% to $1,695.40/oz, while EUR/USD traded marginally lower at 0.9974.


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