MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market On Track To Bounce Back After Dow's Two-day Drop

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Investors are digesting a barrage of earnings, economic data and Fed speeches

Continue Reading Below

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a mildly higher open on Thursday, putting the Dow industrials on course to recover somewhat from the prior session's 138-point drop, as Cisco and Wal-Mart's earnings-driven gains provided a boost.

Traders will be digesting a barrage of earnings reports, economic data and Federal Reserve speeches.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 75 points, or 0.4%, to 23,337, while S&P 500 futures tacked on 9.15 points, or 0.4%, to 2,574.25. Nasdaq-100 futures jumped by 27.50 points, or 0.4%, to 6,293.75.

On Wednesday, the Dow and the S&P 500 both closed 0.6% lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-tumble-more-than-100-points-as-mood-for-risk-sours-2017-11-15), and the Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.5%. The S&P and Dow suffered their biggest percentage drops since Sept. 5, with analysts blaming the fall on worries about a U.S. tax overhaul. In addition, a slide in oil prices on Wednesday put pressure on energy stocks.

Continue Reading Below

Wednesday's decline marked the biggest one-day percentage drop for both the Dow and the S&P since September. It also marked the first time in 50 sessions that the S&P fell at least 0.5% in a single trading day, putting an end to its longest such streak since 1968, according to data from LPL Financial.

What are strategists saying?

"Markets stand at an intriguing crossroads," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note.

"Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tencent-earnings-buoy-hong-kong-index-nikkei-looks-to-snap-loss-streak-2017-11-15) have bounced (helped by support coming in for oil), with the Nikkei 1.5% higher. European markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rebound-after-longest-losing-streak-in-a-year-2017-11-16) have taken heart from the Asian session and have also found support in early moves. It will be interesting to see if this lasts," Perry said.

What are other assets doing?

Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-stabilize-after-prior-days-slump-showing-little-change-2017-11-16) were slightly lower, after earlier showing a small gain. Crude prices are trying to stabilize after a fall on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-tumbles-further-in-wake-of-api-reading-showing-jump-in-us-supply-2017-11-15) that was attributed to a surprise climb in U.S. supplies.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-drops-as-fears-build-that-tax-reform-plans-will-drag-2017-11-15) was inching up, while gold futures were roughly unchanged.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in Cisco Systems Inc.(CSCO) jumped 7% in premarket action after the maker of networking equipment late Wednesday delivered better-than-expected quarterly results and an encouraging outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cisco-shares-surge-as-earnings-outlook-top-street-views-2017-11-15). The tech stock was the Dow's biggest premarket gainer.

Don't miss:Cisco promises return to growth, but for how long? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cisco-promises-return-to-growth-but-for-how-long-2017-11-15)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) climbed 4% premarket in the wake of the retailer posting better-than-expected earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-marts-stock-jumps-toward-record-high-after-profit-and-sales-beat-raised-outlook-2017-11-16) early Thursday. It was the Dow's second-biggest winner.

Read more:Wal-Mart's in-store and digital sales put it a step ahead (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-mart-earnings-in-store-and-digital-sales-put-it-a-step-ahead-of-the-competition-2017-11-13)

NetApp Inc.(NTAP) soared 12% after the data-storage company's better-than-expected results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netapp-shares-jump-on-earnings-sales-beat-2017-11-15) late Wednesday.

L Brands Inc.(LB) fell 4% ahead of the bell after the Victoria's Secret parent posted earnings that matched forecasts and a drop in same-store sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/l-brands-shares-down-35-after-earnings-as-same-store-sales-fall-2017-11-15).

Retailer Best Buy Co.(BBY), Folgers and Pillsbury parent J.M. Smucker Co.(SJM) and media giant Viacom Inc.(VIA) were also due for active trading as they are among the companies on the earnings docket before the open.

Away from earnings-related moves, Procter & Gamble Co.'s stock (PG) rose 2% premarket following news that storied activist investor Nelson Peltz had narrowly won a seat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/activist-nelson-peltz-narrowly-wins-seat-on-pg-board-2017-11-15) on the consumer-products giant's board.

Auto maker Tesla Inc.'s stock (TSLA) gained 1% premarket ahead of the unveiling of its electric semi truck (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/four-things-tesla-needs-to-reveal-when-it-launches-the-semi-truck-2017-11-15) that is on tap after the market's close.

See:Elon Musk opens up on love life, traumatic childhood, Tesla goals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-opens-up-on-love-life-traumatic-childhood-tesla-goals-2017-11-15)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(GS) and Morgan Stanley(MS) might make moves following news of a lawsuit that alleges those two banks and other lenders secretly shared client information (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lawsuit-alleges-goldman-other-big-banks-shared-client-info-to-rig-us-treasurys-auctions-2017-11-16) in order to rig auctions for the U.S. Treasurys market.

What economic releases could help drive markets?

Initial jobless claims rose a higher-than-expected 10,000 in the latest week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-jobless-claims-jump-to-6-week-high-2017-11-16), hitting a six-week high, although they remain at historically low levels. Continuing jobless claims were at their lowest since Dec. 1973.

Separately, U.S. import prices rose 0.2% in October.

October figures for industrial production are scheduled to arrive at 9:15 a.m. Eastern, with 0.6% growth forecast for the headline number. Then a November reading on the housing market is on tap at 10 a.m. Eastern.

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

On the Fed front, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is due to give a speech at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., at 9:10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan is taking part in a discussion at a CFA Society of Houston event at 1:10 p.m. Eastern, while Fed Gov. Lael Brainard is scheduled to talk at a University of Michigan Law School conference at 3:45 p.m. Eastern. San Francisco Fed President John Williams is addressing a forum on Asia in the City by the Bay at 4:45 p.m. Eastern.

Now read:CEO Bill McNabb reveals 'probably the thing we worry most about at Vanguard' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ceo-bill-mcnabb-reveals-probably-the-thing-we-worry-most-about-at-vanguard-2017-11-16)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 16, 2017 08:43 ET (13:43 GMT)