MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Perk Up On Jackson Hole Day, With Retailers Active After Earnings

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Sears' quarterly loss narrows; weekly jobless claims due

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U.S. stock futures edged higher Thursday, signaling a comeback from a rally-breaking prior session, on the opening day of the highly anticipated gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Shares in retailers, including Signet Jewelers Ltd. and Burlington Stores Inc., were rising after posting quarterly earnings, while Sears Holdings Corp. said it will close another 28 Kmart stores.

But the highlight should be the central-bank summit, which has been on investors' minds this week, even though key speakers such as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen won't appear until Friday.

"Markets are hoping for a change in sentiment that can take us off the recent risk-off mode," said Michala Marcussen, chief economist at Societe Generale, in a note.

"We are inclined to think that the Jackson Hole symposium will probably disappoint, with central bankers preferring to explain detailed actions in September," she said.

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Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 40 points, or 0.2%, to 21,835.00, while futures for the S&P 500 Index moved up 4.50 points, or 0.2%, to 2,446.00. Nasdaq-100 turned higher, rising 16.75 points, or 0.2%, to 5,864.75.

The indicated gains would mark a slight recovery, after the main indexes finished in the red Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-rally-poised-to-peter-out-as-jackson-hole-comes-back-into-focus-2017-08-23), undoing previous solid gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index both fell 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.3%.

Equities' recent struggle has been put down in part (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-shutdown-threat-rattles-stock-market-2017-08-23) to U.S. President Donald Trump's threat late Tuesday to shut down the government if he did not get funding for a border wall with Mexico.

Words from Wyoming: The program for the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's symposium, titled "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy," is set for release (https://www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/escp) at 6 p.m. Mountain Time, or 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting runs through Saturday.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will be on the lineup with Yellen on Friday, and investors will watch for any hints on the path for monetary policy from both central bank chiefs.

"[Yellen's] speech is of great importance, given the recent warnings from the Fed on vulnerabilities associated with asset valuations. Few disagree that the global easy monetary policies have created overstretched valuations," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

"Whether it's stocks, fixed income, real estate or bitcoins, there is a bubble somewhere," he wrote.

See:Here's what investors will be watching when Draghi, Yellen speak at Jackson Hole (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-investors-will-be-watching-when-draghi-yellen-speak-at-jackson-hole-2017-08-22)

Stock movers: Ahead of the bell, Tiffany & Co.(TIF) posted second-quarter earnings of 92 cents a share (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tiffany-co-shares-rise-after-earnings-revenue-beat-2017-08-24), beating expectations. Stock in the luxury jewelry company rose 1.6% premarket.

Signet Jewelers Ltd.(SIG) shares jumped 16% ahead of the bell after the jewelry retailer's quarterly earnings and sales beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/signet-jewelers-shares-spike-after-earnings-beat-e-commerce-acquisition-2017-08-24).

Burlington Stores Inc.(BURL) shares climbed 8% ahead of the bell after the discount store chain posted better-than-expected second-quarter results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/burlington-stores-stock-surges-8-premarket-on-better-than-expected-earnings-2017-08-24) and raised its outlook for the full year.

J.M. Smucker Co.(SJM) shares fell 4% premarket (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jm-smucker-shares-fall-4-premarket-after-earnings-miss-2017-08-24) as the foods producer lowered its full-year outlook and its first-quarter earnings missed estimates.

Hormel Foods Corp.(HRL) shares dropped 4.5% premarket after the Spam maker cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Sears (SHLD) posted a narrower quarterly loss of $2.34 a share (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sears-loss-tops-views-to-close-28-kmart-stores-2017-08-24) and said it will close 28 Kmart stores this year. Shares were inactive in premarket trading.

U.S.-listed shares of CRH PLC(CRG.DB) were up 3.8% premarket after the Irish building materials company agreed to sell its Americas distribution business (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crh-to-sell-us-distribution-unit-in-26b-deal-2017-08-24) to Beacon Roofing Supply(BECN) .

A consortium that includes Western Digital Corp.(WDC) will offer 1.9 trillion yen ($17 billion) to purchase Toshiba Corp.'s(6502.TO) memory chip business, sources told Reuters on Thursday. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/western-digital-group-offer-1-091619106.html)

(https://finance.yahoo.com/news/western-digital-group-offer-1-091619106.html)Invesco Ltd. is reportedly closing in on a $1 billion deal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/invesco-closes-in-on-1-billion-deal-to-buy-guggenheims-etf-business-2017-08-24) for Guggenheim Partners's ETF business.

Economic docket: The Labor Department's report on weekly jobless claims, scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, is expected to show a rise to 238,000.

Existing home sales in July are expected to decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.50 million. The report from the National Association of Realtors is due at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Other markets:In Asian equities, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hong-kong-leads-slight-asian-market-gains-2017-08-23) Hong Kong shares finished higher while Japan's Nikkei lost ground. European equities traded modestly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-post-cautious-gains-as-jackson-hole-day-arrives-2017-08-24).

The ICE Dollar Index was up 0.2% at 93.30. A single bitcoin was up 2% to $4,224.05.

Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-ease-with-caution-still-in-place-even-as-us-stockpiles-decline-2017-08-24) edged lower, while gold prices slipped 0.2% to $1,285.90 an ounce.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 24, 2017 07:48 ET (11:48 GMT)