Nasdaq, S&P 500 Futures Slip Ahead Of Data-Heavy Thursday — Tesla, EV Peers And Railroad Stocks In Focus

Zinger Key Points
  • U.S. stocks could test waters in the run up to next week's Fed meeting, given the lack of any major data due in the period.
  • Railroad stocks could see buying interest amid reports a strike may be averted.

The U.S. index futures point to a modestly lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with the mood reflecting indecision among traders ahead of the key U.S. retail sales report.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks recovered from the previous session’s steep sell-off and managed to close firmly in the green, partly aided by the producer price inflation report that showed a cool-off in the annual rates of the headline and core wholesale price inflation.

Energy stocks skyrocketed after oil’s 1.34% rally on Wednesday, while consumer discretionary and utility stocks also saw notable gains. On the other hand, material and real estate stocks served as drags.

U.S. Indices' Performance On Wednesday
Index Performance (+/-)   Value
Nasdaq Composite +0.74%   11,719.68
S&P 500 Index +0.34%   3,946.01
Dow Industrials +0.10%   31,135.09

Here’s a peek into index futures trading:

U.S. Futures' Performance On Thursday During Premarket Session
Index Performance (+/-)  
Nasdaq 100 Futures -0.32%  
S&P 500 Futures -0.17%  
Dow Futures -0.13%  
R2K Futures -0.05%  

In premarket trading on Thursday, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was slipping 0.12% to $394.11 and the Invesco QQQ TrustQQQ was down 0.28% to $295.20, according to Benzinga Pro data.

The economic calendar of the day is loaded, with data on jobs, the manufacturing sector and the retail sales on the agenda.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to release the retail sales report for August at 8:30 a.m. EDT. After remaining stagnant in July, economists, on average, expect a 0.2% month-over-month increase in retail sales. The data could be considered a proxy for growth as consumer spending accounts for about two-third of the economic activity.

The Labor Department is set to release the weekly jobless claims for the week ended Sept. 10, and the export and import prices data for August, both at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Results of separate September manufacturing surveys by the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve are also due at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

At 9:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve will release the industrial production report for August. The consensus estimate calls for a slowdown in the month-over-month pace of industrial output growth.

See also: These 5 Experts See A Market Crash Ahead: What Do BZ Readers Think?

Stocks In Focus:

  • EV makers could be in the spotlight following Needham’s upgrade of Tesla, Inc. TSLA and initiating coverage on Fisker, Inc. FSR, Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN and Lucid Group, Inc. LCID.
  • Railroad stocks such as Union Pacific Corporation UNP and CSX Corporation CSX may react to the report that a tentative deal has been reached with unions, potentially averting a railroad strike.
  • Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. GMBL shares are sliding in reaction to the company’s proposed common stock offering.

Commodity, Global Markets:

Crude oil futures were reversing course after Wednesday’s advance. A barrel of oil was currently trading at $87.67, down 0.92%. Asian stocks closed Thursday’s session on a mixed note, as traders in the region remained wary of U.S. Fed's rate move. The Chinese market pulled back sharply after the People’s Bank of China left its medium-term monetary policy rate unchanged.

The European markets were seen trading on a mixed note by late morning trading.

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