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U.S. Futures Edge Lower; Retail Sales, Jobless Claims in Focus

Stock MarketsSep 16, 2021 07:01AM ET
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By Peter Nurse   

Investing.com - U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Thursday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains, with investors cautious ahead of the release of key retail sales and unemployment data, and increasingly unsettled by a European energy crisis that is pulling global prices higher.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 15 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 5 points, or 0.1%, lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 30 points, or 0.2%.

The broad-based S&P 500 index gained 0.9% Wednesday, its biggest daily increase in more than two weeks, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced more than 200 points, or 0.7%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8%.

However, those gains have been something of an outlier so far in September, with the Dow down 1.6%, the S&P 500 off just under 1% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.5%.

While September is traditionally a weak month, there have been a number of specific influences weighing on sentiment, including the highly-transmissible delta variant, regulatory concerns in China, supply chain difficulties and the possibility of central banks reining in monetary stimulus. Some money has also been moving out of established names for redeployment in a spate of IPOs, such as Dutch Bros  (NYSE:BROS) and Thoughtworks.

There’s more economic data Thursday for investors to study for clues as the Federal Reserve prepares for its monetary policy-setting meeting next week.

Retail sales, at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), are expected to have weakened again in August, dropping 0.8% on the month after July’s 1.1% fall. At the same time, weekly initial jobless claims are seen rising to 330,000 last week, from 310,000 for the week before.

In corporate news, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock rose slightly premarket after the drugmaker revealed a large trial showed the protection its Covid-19 vaccine offers wanes over time, supporting the case for booster doses.

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) will also be in the spotlight after the video game company announced late Wednesday that its highly-anticipated game Battlefield 2042 game is set for a worldwide launch in November, countering fears that it would be put off to next year.

Crude prices slightly weakened Thursday, consolidating after the previous session’s strong gains on the back of a sharp drawdown in crude stocks in the United States, to their lowest level in over three years.

Crude inventories fell by 6.4 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration late Wednesday, as refiners in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico struggled to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% lower at $72.50 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $57.37. Both contracts gained around 3% on Wednesday, and are up nearly 50% year-to-date.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.8% to $1,780.20/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.1776.

 

U.S. Futures Edge Lower; Retail Sales, Jobless Claims in Focus
 

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Comments (4)
Khwarizmi Algebra
Khwarizmi Algebra Sep 16, 2021 8:38AM ET
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“European energy crisis” but all european stock markets are green!! Why you make it sound like big worry for US stock market? LOL
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Sep 16, 2021 8:31AM ET
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Wish I had a crystal. Looking at futures, they probably manipulated the market up yesterday to shake out all the puts. I know for a fact that some random event is gonna' take this thing down. I'm holding my puts until expiration. Gotta' stay in the game. It's coming
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Sep 16, 2021 8:31AM ET
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*ball.
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Sep 16, 2021 8:11AM ET
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Retail sales do not matter, unemployment numbers do not matter. Only thing that matters is that JPOW prints billions of dollars every week to support the overinflated market and the rich.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Sep 16, 2021 7:41AM ET
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The cavalry is on scene to protect yesterday's criminally manufactured "gains."  Assume the proper position America.
 
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