US Stocks On Track For Lackluster Start On Data-Heavy Thursday — Retail Earnings, Cisco, Nvidia, Alibaba In Focus

Zinger Key Points
  • Uncertainty has returned to the market, with traders waiting for next major catalysts that could render clarity into the rate outlook.
  • Retail earnings continue to trickle in and could give an insight into how the sector will fare in the key holiday season.
US Stocks On Track For Lackluster Start On Data-Heavy Thursday — Retail Earnings, Cisco, Nvidia, Alibaba In Focus

The index futures point to a nervous start by Wall Street stocks on Thursday, as the inflation-induced euphoria fades and traders turn their focus back to the Fed and the rate outlook.

Wednesday, the major averages opened lower and were confined below the unchanged line throughout the session, as traders digested economic data and the disappointing earnings report from Target Corp. TGT. The averages ended the session decisively lower, with the Nasdaq Composite underperforming. 

Retail sales rose more than expected in October, underlining the strength in consumer spending, the main pillar of economic growth. All the same, industrial production and the National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index disappointed to the downside.

Technology, consumer discretionary and energy stocks served as drags, while consumer staple and utility stocks found some buying interest.

U.S. Indices' Performance On Wednesday
Index Performance (+/-)   Value
Nasdaq Composite -1.54%   11,183.66
S&P 500 Index -0.83%   3,958.79
Dow Industrials -0.12%   33,553.83

Fund manager Louis Navellier sees the recent rally as a good opportunity to improve the quality of portfolios to names with “more consistent earnings, strong balance sheets and reasonable valuation multiples.”

Even as the market wants to keep the positive seasonal trend going, traders are concerned about 2023 earnings flattening out as opposed to the 4.9% forecast currently, he added.

Here’s a peek into index futures trading:

U.S. Futures' Performance On Thursday During Premarket Session
Index Performance (+/-)  
Nasdaq 100 Futures -0.06%  
S&P 500 Futures -0.14%  
Dow Futures -0.23%  
R2K Futures -0.52%  

In premarket trading on Thursday, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustSPY slipped 0.05% to $395.25, while the Invesco QQQ TrustQQQ edged up 0.01% to $285.47, according to Benzinga Pro data.

On the economic front, Federal Open Market Committee member and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is scheduled to speak at 8 a.m. EST.

The Labor Department will release the customary weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists expect the number of individuals who filed for unemployment benefits to come in at 225,000 in the week ended Nov. 12, the same as in the previous month.

Also, at 8:30 a.m. EST, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is set to release the results of its regional manufacturing survey for November. The manufacturing index is expected to tick up to -6.2 from -8.7 in October.

The Commerce Department is due to release its housing starts and building permits data for October at 8:30 a.m. EST. Both metrics are expected to decline slightly from the previous month.

FOMC member and Fed Governor Michelle Bowman is scheduled to make a public appearance at 9:15 a.m. EST. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Fed Governor Philip Jefferson are expected to speak at 9:40 a.m. EST and 10:40 a.m. EST, respectively.

The Treasury is due to auction 10-year TIPS at 1 p.m. EST.

See also: Record-Highs In Sight For S&P 500 After Thursday's Rally? Analyst Says History Suggests So...

Stocks In Focus:

  • Retailer Bath & Body Works, Inc. BBWI jumped over 24% in premarket trading in reaction to its quarterly results.
  • Nvidia Corp. NVDA rose close to 2.50% following the release of its quarterly results.
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO climbed about 4% on earnings.
  • Fisker, Inc. FSR could be in focus as the EV startup is expected to start production of its Ocean SUV.
  • Alibaba Group Holding, Inc. BABA, BJ’s Restaurant, Inc. BJRI, Kohl’s Corp. KSS, Macy’s Inc. M, NetEase, Inc. NTES and Weibo Corp. WB are among the notable companies reporting quarterly results ahead of the market open.
  • Key earnings due after the close include those from Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT, Gap, Inc. GPS. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. WSM and Palo Alto Networks, Inc. PANW.

Commodities, Other Global Equity Markets:

Crude oil futures were declining moderately on Thursday, extending the 1.53% drop from the previous session.

Asia-Pacific markets had a mixed session on Thursday, with the Japanese, Chinese, Hong Kong, Indian, South Korean and Taiwanese markets pulling back. On the other hand, the Australian, New Zealand, Indonesian and Malaysian markets advanced.

European stocks opened Thursday’s session higher but have squandered their gains by late morning trading. The major averages in the region were currently mixed.

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