MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks May Struggle For Direction As Investors Await GDP, More Fed Speakers

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil marches higher

Continue Reading Below

U.S. stock futures slipped on Thursday, as investors looked set to quell some of their excitement over plans for a major tax overall, and waited for an update on gross domestic product and speeches from more Federal Reserve officials.

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 14 points to 22,284, while S&P 500 futures were off 1.5 points at 2,503. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 4.5 points to 5,936.50.

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.

Continue Reading Below

What's driving the market?

Investors are looking ahead to final gross domestic product data for the second quarter, due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, along with weekly jobless claims and figures on advance trade in goods for August.

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 legislations," 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 07:37 ET (11:37 GMT)