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Dow Futures Up 410 Pts; Home Depot Lifts Full-Year Sales Forecast

Stock Markets May 17, 2022 06:53AM ET
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© Reuters

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening sharply higher Tuesday as investors seek out bargains ahead of the eagerly awaited monthly retail sales, a key measure of the health of the economy.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 410 points, or 1.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 64 points, or 1.6%, higher and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 230 points, or 1.9%.

The main equity indices are all down sharply this year, with surging inflation prompting concerns that the Federal Reserve will be forced into aggressive monetary policy tightening, potentially pushing the U.S. economy into recession.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 11% year to date, the broad-based S&P 500 index is down over 15%, holding just above bear market territory, while tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has been hit the hardest, 25% lower so far this year.

Attention will be on the release of the retail sales data for April, at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), which is expected to rise 0.9% on the month, up from 0.7% in March. Spending makes up two-thirds of economic output, and analysts will be looking for signs that spending picked up not just because prices are moving higher.

More than 90% of the companies listed in the S&P 500 index have posted results, but there will still be a number of important retail reports this week, including numbers from Walmart (NYSE:WMT), the country’s largest retailer.

Consumers have faced rising prices of food and fuel, but Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was still able to increase its full-year sales forecast earlier Tuesday as demand for home improvement tools and building materials held up.

Elsewhere, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) will remain in the spotlight after billionaire Elon Musk said his $44 billion offer for the social messaging platform would not move forward until the company shows proof that spambots account for less than 5% of its total users, hours after suggesting he could seek a lower price.

Oil prices rose Tuesday, climbing to a seven-week high as Shanghai completed a third straight day without detecting any new cases of COVID-19 in its quarantine area, bolstering confidence that it can lift its lockdown in June as signaled by local officials. Prolonged mobility restrictions in China's financial hub have curbed oil demand from the world's largest crude importer.

Investors now await U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher to $112.64 a barrel, while the Brent contract traded 0.8% higher to $115.12. Both benchmarks gained more than 2% on Monday, adding to Friday’s 4% increase.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,827.32/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.8% higher at 1.0512.

Dow Futures Up 410 Pts; Home Depot Lifts Full-Year Sales Forecast
 

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Steve Geue May 17, 2022 7:49AM ET
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