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New York
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Dow futures tick higher; Walmart, jobless claims data in focus

Dow futures tick higher; Walmart, jobless claims data in focus
© Reuters

 

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Investing.com — U.S. stock futures edged higher Thursday, rebounding from the previous session’s tech-led losses after the minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting raised concerns about future interest rate increases.

By 06:20 ET (10:20 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 65 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 10 points, or 0.2%, higher and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 40 points, or 0.3%.

The main equities indices closed lower Wednesday, a second consecutive losing day, with the Nasdaq Composite hit particularly hard, dropping 1.2%, on worries that additional tightening will disproportionately hit the debt-laden tech sector.

Fed minutes hint at future rate hikes

The minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, when the central bank officials decided unanimously to lift rates by 25 basis points, showed that most still saw “significant” upside risks to inflation, a sign that further rate hikes could be needed to slow the economy just as upbeat data forced the central bank to ditch its recession call.

The U.S. central bank is still widely seen standing still at its next policy meeting in September, but expectations are growing that there could be another hike in November as July’s meeting came before a raft of U.S. data that underscored the resilient economy.

There is more data to digest later in the session, with weekly initial jobless claims and the August Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index due.

Walmart in the spotlight

It’s Walmart’s (NYSE:WMT) turn to be in the spotlight Thursday, as quarterly earnings from the retail sector continue to pour in.

The world’s biggest retailer is projected to improve its annual earnings guidance for the second time this year, as unlike peers Target (NYSE:TGT) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Walmart has likely been a beneficiary of a recent pullback in consumer spending on nonessential items.

Earnings are also scheduled from the likes of Tapestry (NYSE:TPR), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Keysight Technologies (NYSE:KEYS).

Cisco optimistic over AI opportunities

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) traded higher premarket after the networking equipment maker’s Chief Executive, Chuck Robbins, talked up market share wins and artificial intelligence opportunities, as he moved to allay fears over slowing growth after a disappointing annual revenue forecast.

Wolfspeed (NYSE:WOLF) stock slumped premarket after the chipmaker issued a disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report after the close Wednesday.

Crude helped by U.S. stockpiles draw

Oil prices climbed Thursday, rebounding from two-week lows, helped by a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. inventories.

However, sentiment remains weak given worries slowing growth in China and a continued hawkish stance from the Federal Reserve will weaken fuel demand in the world’s two biggest economies.

Additionally, data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. production hit a new three-year high last week, close to the record-high levels produced before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

By 06:20 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $80.00 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.8% to $84.11. Both contracts earlier hit their weakest level in two weeks.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,925.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded largely unchanged at 1.0875.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

Source: Investing.com

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