MARKET SNAPSHOT: Wall Street Stocks Becalmed As Investors Get Ready For 'Super Thursday'

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Main global stock markets have moved less than 1% in June, analyst notes

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U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open Wednesday, as a "calm before the storm" mood set in a day ahead of the risk events that have preoccupied investors since the start of the week.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat at 21,156, while the S&P 500 inched up less than a point to 2,431.50. Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.5 points to 5,868.

Opinion:The S&P 500's upside breakout is the clear signal we needed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-sp-500s-upside-breakout-is-the-clear-signal-we-needed-2017-06-06)

Investors are seen as focused on the so-called "Super Thursday" trio of geopolitical events: testimony on alleged Russian interference from former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, the U.K. general election and a European Central Bank meeting.

See:Draghi's ECB may take 'baby steps' toward ending ultraloose monetary policy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/draghis-ecb-may-take-baby-steps-toward-ending-ultraloose-monetary-policy-2017-06-06)

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Stocks fell for a second session on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-poised-to-slip-as-geopolitical-worries-take-edge-off-bulls-appetite-2017-06-06) as investors got jittery ahead of those events. The S&P 500 fell 0.3%, the Dow industrials lost 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.3%.

"One wonders whether markets are experiencing the calm before the storm as we await 'Super Thursday'. The main global equity bourses have moved less than a percent in the four days of June so far," said Jim Reid, strategist, and Craig Nichol, research analyst, in a Deutsche Bank note.

Opinion: This 88-year-old stock market indicator is saying you can relax for now (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-88-year-old-stock-market-indicator-is-saying-you-can-relax-for-now-2017-06-06)

Others said investors are definitely bracing for a potentially explosive Thursday.

"Risk assets are obviously not ideal at this stage, as any of the three major events may trigger a selloff in equity markets, which explains some investors' behavior who have moved into the defensive," said Hussein Sayed, FXTM chief market strategist, in a note.

The big question regarding Comey is whether the ex-FBI chief will accuse President Donald Trump of abusing his power to derail an FBI investigation and whether there's any indication of potential links between Russia and Trump's election campaign, Sayed said. Any surprises in that testimony (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-when-james-comey-testifies-to-the-senate-on-thursday-2017-06-05) to a Senate committee will be reflected in financial markets, he said.

Geopolitics and economy: The only top-tier economic update on the calendar for Wednesday is a reading on consumer credit in April, due at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

One focus is the runup to the U.K. general election. While voters head to the polls Thursday, the outcome will likely not be known until Friday morning London time.

Opinion polls mostly indicate a victory for Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, but there are signs it could be a neck-and-neck race with the opposition Labour Party. An unexpected result could trigger volatility across Europe, spilling over to U.S. markets.

Read:5 things to know about the U.K. general election this week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-the-uk-general-election-next-week-2017-06-01)

And check out: Watch for a shake-up among U.K. stocks after Thursday's election (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-for-a-shake-up-among-uk-stocks-after-thursdays-election-2017-06-06)

No change in monetary policy is expected from the ECB meeting, but President Mario Draghi's comments will be scrutinized for signs the central bank could be ready to wind down its ultraloose monetary policy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/draghis-ecb-may-take-baby-steps-toward-ending-ultraloose-monetary-policy-2017-06-06). The euro weakened on a report that the ECB may be ready to cut its inflation forecast through 2019 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-slumps-after-report-ecb-will-cut-inflation-outlook-through-2019-2017-06-07).

Stock movers: Navistar International Corp.'s(NAV) stock tumbled 9% in premarket trade after the truck and diesel engines maker swung to a wider-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/navistars-stock-tumbles-as-continued-weak-used-truck-market-leads-to-large-loss-2017-06-07).

Jack Daniels maker Brown-Forman Corp.(BFA) is scheduled to report results ahead of the market open.

Other markets: European stocks were a mixed bag (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rise-with-bank-stocks-up-as-santander-scoops-up-popular-2017-06-07), with the FTSE 100 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-turns-higher-as-home-builders-get-a-boost-2017-06-07) slightly firmer, but the German DAX 30 index moving lower. In Asia , Chinese stocks rose 1.2%, bucking a retreat across most other indexes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-stocks-rise-bucking-asian-market-retreats-2017-06-06)..

Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-pull-back-ahead-of-us-inventory-data-2017-06-07) drifted south as investors waited for U.S. supply data from the Energy Information Administration. Gold prices were modestly lower, and the dollar moved higher, largely against the euro, which fell after reports that the ECB will cut its inflation outlook.

Read: Forex's controversial 'last look' comes under the microscope (https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/fx-body-to-scrutinise-last-look-20170607?mod=linkweek_mw)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 07, 2017 07:25 ET (11:25 GMT)