A man walks a dog in the shade away from the midday sun past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building in Manhattan, during hot weather in New York City, New York, U.S., August 11, 2020.
Mike Segar | Reuters
Stock futures were flat in overnight trading on Thursday as investors await the latest retail sales data.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 30 points. The S&P 500 futures and the Nasdaq 100 futures both rose about 0.2%.
Retail sales data, due Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, will offer an update on the recovery in consumer spending. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect retail sales to rise by 0.7% in September, following a 0.6% rebound in August. Excluding autos, sales were expected to rise by 0.4%.
Major averages suffered their third straight day of losses on Thursday, their longest losing streak in nearly a month.
The Dow and the S&P 500 closed well off their lows Thursday, however, helped by strength in cyclical stocks including financials and real estate names.
“Value/cyclical stocks recouped some of their recent underperformance with strength in energy, autos, transports, non-essential retail, and financials.” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note on Thursday.
Stocks’ weakness this week came amid the uncertainties around further coronavirus stimulus as well as fears of a worsening pandemic around the world.
Lawmakers in Washington continued to send mix signals about progress toward a stimulus deal.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the White House won’t let differences over funding targets for Covid-19 testing derail stimulus talks with top Democrats.
Later, President Donald Trump said that he would raise his offer for a stimulus package above his current level of $1.8 trillion. House Democrats have passed a $2.2 trillion bill.
Meanwhile, the spike in new coronavirus cases in Europe also kept investors on edge. The U.K. government announced plans to impose tougher coronavirus restrictions on London, while the French government declared a public health state of emergency earlier this week amid a surge in cases. Germany has also announced new rules to curb the spread of the virus.
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