Dow Futures Up 25 Pts; Jobless Claims, Home Sales Data Due

  • Stock Market News
Dow Futures Up 25 Pts; Jobless Claims, Home Sales Data Due

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally higher Thursday, rebounding to a degree from the previous session’s weakness after minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting pointed to further interest rate increases to tame inflation.

At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 25 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 4 points, or 0.1% higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 7 points, or 0.1%.

The main Wall Street indices closed lower Wednesday, following the release of the latest Fed minutes . The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a five-day winning streak, closing over 170 points, or 0.5% lower, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell a hefty 1.3%.

Fed officials saw "little evidence" late last month that U.S. inflation pressures were easing, minutes released on Wednesday showed, but they did indicate that the pace of rate hikes could slow at some point if the data show inflation is coming down.

The Fed is trying to achieve a "soft landing", cooling off the economy without large job losses and a recession.

With this in mind, the weekly initial jobless claims data, at 08:30 ET (12:30 GMT), will be studied for more clues about the health of the key labor market.

Also of interest will be existing home sales data, due at 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT), which are expected to show a slow down from the prior reading. This would match the trend in housing starts, which fell to their lowest level since last year as rising interest rates choke off demand for mortgages.

Corporate earnings have largely held up this quarter, but the news on Wednesday was not very impressive as retail giant Target (NYSE: TGT ) reported a near 90% drop in quarterly profit from a year ago and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW ) offered up mixed numbers .

There are more earnings due from the retail sector Thursday, from the likes of Kohl's (NYSE: KSS ), Tapestry (NYSE: TPR ), and Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL ), while Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT ) will also post its quarterly update.

Oil prices rose, as a large fall in U.S. stockpiles dimmed concerns that a possible looming recession could undercut demand.

U.S. crude stocks fell by a hefty 7.1 million barrels in the week to Aug. 12, Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday, much more than expected, while exports rose to a record and gasoline demand climbed to the highest this year.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.4% higher at $89.33 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.6% to $95.14.

Additionally, gold futures traded 0.4% higher to $1,782.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0166.

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