U.S. stock futures traded mostly lower in early pre-market trade ahead of the release of minutes from the Fed meeting. Investors are awaiting earnings results from Lowe`s Companies Inc LOW, Target Corporation TGT, Cisco Systems Inc CSCO, NVIDIA Corporation NVDA and Robinhood Markets Inc HOOD.
Data on housing starts and building permits for July will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. A 1.610 million annual rate is projected for starts in July from June's 1.643 million rate, while permits expected at 1.620 million versus previous month’s 1.594 million rate. The Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes of its latest meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 72 points to 35,187.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures fell 4.50 points to 4,439.00. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index slipped 1.75 points to 14,995.75.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 37,017,740 with around 623,320 deaths. India reported a total of at least 32,285,850 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 20,416,180 cases.
Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.9% to trade at $69.64 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 0.7% to trade at $67.07 a barrel. The American Petroleum Institute, late Tuesday, reported a decline of 1.163 million barrels in crude oil inventories for the week ending August 13. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were mixed today. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.2% and STOXX Europe 600 Index rose 0.1%. The French CAC 40 Index dropped 0.2%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3% while German DAX 30 declined 0.1%. The consumer price inflation rate in the Eurozone was confirmed at 2.2% year-over-year in July, while construction output increased 2.8% year-over-year in June. The consumer price inflation rate in the UK declined to 2.0% year-over-year in July from 2.5% in the prior month, while output prices rose 4.9% year-over-year in July.
Asian markets traded mostly higher today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.59%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.47%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.11%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1% and India’s BSE Sensex fell 0.2%. Australian wage price index climbed 1.7% year-over-year in the June quarter, while the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Economic Index fell 0.12% in July. Exports from Japan jumped 37% year-over-year to JPY 7,356 billion in July, while imports increased 28.5% to JPY 6,915 billion. Core machinery orders in Japan fell 1.5% month-over-month during June. Hong Kong's unemployment rate dropped to 5% in the May to July period, compared to 5.5% in the prior three-month period.
Piper Sandler downgraded Vroom, Inc. VRM from Overweight to Neutral and lowered the price target from $54 to $30.
Vroom shares fell 0.5% to $27.15 in pre-market trading.
- Tilray Inc TLRY announced that it has acquired the majority of MedMen Enterprises Inc’s outstanding senior secured convertible notes for about $165.8 million.
- Alcon AG ALC reported second-quarter FY21 sales of $2.1 billion, +75% Y/Y on a reported basis and +69% on a constant currency basis. Assuming global markets return to 2019 levels at the end of 2021, Alcon raised its full-year outlook.
- Cree, Inc. CREE reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter, but issued Q2 sales guidance with a midpoint below analyst estimates. The company’s Wolfspeed business and STMicroelectronics also expanded their existing 150mm silicon carbide wafer supply agreement.
- America's Car-Mart, Inc. CRMT reported upbeat results for its first quarter.
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