MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market On Track To Open Lower After Data, Ahead Of Fed Speakers

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil futures continue rise

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U.S. stock-index futures lost ground Thursday, with major indexes looking to pull back from near-record levels as excitement over a potential tax overhaul waned and economic data failed to spur much buying.

How does the open look for stock markets later?

A slightly weaker start appears to be in store for the Dow Jones Industrial Average as futures slipped 46 points to 22,251. S&P 500 futures were off 5 points at 2,499. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 21 points to 5,920.

On Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-to-open-higher-but-nike-nosedives-after-earnings-2017-09-27), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.3% to end at 22,340.71, and the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to close at 2,507.04. That's less than 0.1% from a record close set last week.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose a heftier 1.2% to close at 6,453.26. Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 finished up 1.9% at 1,484.81, a record close and the biggest one-day percentage gain since March 1.

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What's driving the market?

The latest economic data painted a mixed picture of the economy. Jobless claims rose by 12,000 in the latest week, although this spike was tied to Irma and Harvey, two recent hurricanes that devastated Florida and Texas. Separately, a read on second-quarter economic growth was revised slightly higher, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/economys-2nd-quarter-growth-raised-to-31-2017-09-28) to 3.1% from 3%, though this was due mostly to farm inventories.

A couple of Federal Reserve speakers may draw some attention as rate-hike prospects heat up. Kansas City Fed President Esther George will speak on the economy and monetary policy at 9:45 a.m. Eastern. Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer will speak on developments in central banking to a Bank of England conference in London at 10 a.m. Eastern. Fischer earlier this month said he's planning to resign from the Fed next month (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vice-chairman-stanley-fischer-announces-resignation-from-the-fed-2017-09-06).

On Wednesday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said he backs "regular and gradual" interest-rate hikes, saying they would be a form of insurance against the possibility of an overheated economy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-rosengren-backs-regular-and-gradual-interest-rate-hikes-2017-09-27).

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

What are market participants saying?

While stocks rose Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his "once-in-a-generation" tax overhaul (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/09/27/republicans-roll-out-tax-cut-plans-for-individuals-and-companies-live-blog/), the excitement that lifted equities was replaced by questions on how the plan will be put in place.

"We shall wait and see how Trump's plans evolve into legislation," said Deutsche Bank's strategist Jim Reid in a note on Thursday. "Our U.S. team's early take is that they see a prospect of some reforms occurring at the corporate level (particularly for small corporates), but the potential for substantive reform of personal tax is much lower."

Which stocks are in focus?

Streaming software and device maker Roku Inc. will begin trading on Thursday, after its initial public offering priced at $14 a share on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/roku-sets-14-per-share-ipo-price-on-13-billion-valuation-2017-09-27).

Read: 5 things to know about Roku (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/roku-ipo-5-things-to-know-about-the-streaming-device-company-2017-09-05)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/roku-ipo-5-things-to-know-about-the-streaming-device-company-2017-09-05)Exa Corp.(EXA) could be active after French software company Dassault Systemes SE (DASTY) said it would buy the U.S. simulation-software developer in a cash deal valued at $400 million (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dassault-systemes-to-buy-exa-for-400-million-2017-09-28).

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dassault-systemes-to-buy-exa-for-400-million-2017-09-28)Shares of BlackBerry Ltd.(BB.T) jumped 7.8% in premarket after a surprise profit and revenue beat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blackberrys-stock-soars-after-surprise-profit-revenue-beat-2017-09-28).

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blackberrys-stock-soars-after-surprise-profit-revenue-beat-2017-09-28)Southwest Airlines Co.(LUV) shares dropped 1.2% in premarket after saying natural disasters will hit is operating revenue.

Read:These companies are expected to increase sales the most in 2018 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-companies-are-expected-to-increase-sales-the-most-in-2018-2017-09-26)

What are other assets doing?

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index stalled after hitting a one-month high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-index-stalls-after-striking-one-month-highs-2017-09-28).

Gold futures fell to a six-week low (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-drops-to-6-week-low-as-dollar-continues-march-higher-2017-09-28), squeezed by dollar strength. Oil futures were pushing higher.

European stocks wavered, with just modest gains for some regional indexes. Asian markets closed mostly lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-up-but-chinese-stocks-dip-on-profit-taking-ahead-of-holiday-2017-09-27), outside of a 0.4% gain for the Nikkei 225 .

Read:Japan parliament dissolved, snap elections called: report (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-parliament-dissolved-snap-elections-called-report-2017-09-28)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 28, 2017 08:52 ET (12:52 GMT)