Stock futures are little changed as investors assess cross-currents in latest earnings

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Equity futures were little changed on Thursday as investors reacted to the latest batch of quarterly results and waited for a flurry of speakers from the Federal Reserve.

Futures contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures slid 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 futures fell less than 0.1%.

Retailer Bath & Body Works jumped more than 20% after beating revenue expectations and doubling what was expected for earnings per share. Cisco rose more than 3% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.

The latest moves followed a day of decline on Wall Street, the second in three days. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.83% and 1.54% respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 39.09 points, or 0.12%.

Downward pressure emerged from weak forecasts from Target, which signaled lower sales as inflation pinches shoppers ahead of the holiday season. The Minneapolis-based chain ended down 13%, while its forecast cast doubt on other retailers.

Target followed better-than-expected reports earlier in the week from Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart, which beat expectations and said inflation was not hitting them as hard.

“There is an adjustment process going on,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments. “I’m not saying that’s a reason to do nothing in a wallet, but trying to chase things usually ends up meaning you make one bad decision, then another bad decision, and then another bad decision.”

Investors will also watch weekly jobless claims tomorrow, the latest October housing starts and building permits reports, and manufacturing surveys from the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Kansas City.

Earnings season continues Thursday with more retailers including Macy’s and Kohl’s before the bell and Gap after.


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