NEW YORK, Aug 16 — US stock index futures edged lower today as investors assessed results from retailers Walmart and Home Depot, while signs of a slowing global economy continued to keep markets on edge.
Walmart Inc rose 4.2 per cent in trading before the bell as the world’s largest retailer forecast a smaller drop in full-year profit than previously projected.
Home Depot’s shares fell marginally even as other retail stocks traded higher following Walmart’s forecast, with a few analysts saying expectations heading into Home Depot’s earnings were too high.
“The consumer seems to be holding up, even though we continue to have inflation,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.
“The price of gasoline has come down and especially for lower-income shoppers, that takes a lot of their spending.” Despite a rough start to the year on fears of surging prices and rising rates tipping the US economy into a recession, Wall Street indexes have recovered some of their sharp losses in the recent weeks on signs that inflation has peaked.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index has bounced nearly 24 per cent off its mid-June lows.
Investor sentiment is still bearish, but no longer “apocalyptically” so, according to BofA’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August.
Better-than-expected earnings from corporate America have been a bright spot for US equities recently, with 77.6 per cent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results as of Friday beating analysts’ estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
Focus will be on retail earnings and retail sales data this week for more clues on the impact of inflation on consumer behaviour.
At 08:24 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.05%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.08%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 8.75 points, or 0.06 per cent.
Many high-growth and technology stocks edged lower in premarket trading on Tuesday, after leading the rally in the previous session and boosting the tech-heavy Nasdaq as US Treasury yields pulled back.
The bounce in growth and tech names is not over yet, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co said, adding that crucial for the growth/value trade is the direction of yields, which are likely to keep stalling, favoring growth. — Reuters