Weekly jobless claims and Philly Fed index on tap before open
U.S. stock futures were poised to open lower on Thursday, as data on employment extended an upbeat streak but other measures of economic health came in slightly weaker than expected.
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Investors also focused on earnings from retail heavyweight Wal-Mart.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 56 points, or 0.3%, to 21,956, while those for the S&P 500 index fell 5.75 points, or 0.2%, to 2,461.75. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index traded 27.25 points, or 0.5%, lower at 5,896.
The small losses come after stocks closed moderately higher on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-heads-for-4-day-win-streak-ahead-of-fed-minutes-2017-08-16), with the Dow ending in positive territory for a fourth straight session, up 0.1%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index closed higher by 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.
The equity market has been digesting minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting and President Donald Trump's disbanding of a pair of his business advisory panels (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-business-councils-disband-amid-wave-of-ceo-exits-2017-08-16), which could underscores the president's challenges in promoting his Wall Street-friendly policies.
Overall, stock benchmarks have lost some momentum after Fed minutes were read as dovish, lowering expectations of another rate increase this year.
"The abrupt break up of Trump's manufacturing and strategic councils, coming as pressure mounted from U.S. business leaders (including the CEOs of Blackstone, Pepsi and GM) over Trump's inadequate response to events in Charlottesville has exposed cracks in American corporations's confidence in the president," said Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets, in a note.
"With business-friendly policy measures including tax reform and sector deregulation still yet to be enacted by the administration, it appears patience in the Republican leader is wearing thin," he added.
Trump has faced a furor after he repeatedly blamed "both sides" for violence last weekend at a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Fed in focus: The dollar on Wednesday declined after Fed minutes from the July meeting (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-eyes-september-debt-drawdown-some-want-patient-on-rates-2017-08-16) suggested the central bank is worried about sluggish inflation.
"This kind of uncertainty leads to fresh doubts over whether the Fed will be able to raise rates again this year and clearly investors are growing more nervous," said Konstantinos Anthis, researcher at ADS Securities in a note.
"Looking ahead, the dollar's price action might be dictated by any fresh news on the North Korea front as President Trump is rumored to have asked his military advisors about credible military options," he added.
The greenback rebounded a little on Thursday, with the ICE Dollar Index up 0.1% at 93.647.
Read:Trump agrees to seek Seoul's OK before any action on North Korea, says President Moon (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-agrees-to-seek-seouls-ok-before-any-action-on-north-korea-says-president-moon-2017-08-17)
Economic news: Initial jobless claims in the period running from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12 declined by 12,000 to 232,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
A reading off industrial production, which was released earlier than expected Thursday morning, missed expectations, rising by 0.2% in July, compared with expectations for a rise of 0.3% and 0.4% gain in the prior month.
Meanwhile, Philly Fed's manufacturing index for August came in at 18.9%, compared with 19.5% in the prior period.
On deck is a reading of leading economic indicators for July at 10 a.m.
See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
Stock movers:Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) fell 1.2% after the retail major reported earnings.
Shares in Cisco Systems Inc.(CSCO) lost 3% ahead of the bell after the networking-equipment company late Wednesday reported earnings that missed forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cisco-shares-fall-after-company-predicts-another-drop-in-sales-2017-08-16) and predicted a drop in revenue next quarter.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.(BABA) jumped 4.6% premarket after the Chinese e-commerce giant reported earnings and sales above expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alibabas-stock-jumps-after-profit-revenue-rise-above-expectations-2017-08-17).
L Brands Inc. (LB) slumped 5.3% in thin premarket trade after the Victoria's Secret parent late Wednesday cut its forecast (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/victorias-secret-parent-l-brands-shares-fall-after-company-cuts-full-year-view-2017-08-16) for third-quarter and full-year earnings.
NetApp Inc.(NTAP) could also move after late Wednesday reporting earnings that came in ahead of expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/data-storage-company-netapp-shares-edge-up-on-first-quarter-earnings-beat-2017-08-16).
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-mart-earnings-some-analysts-say-traffic-has-fallen-others-say-it-has-grown-2017-08-14)After the market closes, Gap Inc.(GPS), Ross Stores Inc.(ROST), and Applied Materials Inc.(AMAT) are expected to report.
Other markets:Asia markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-broadly-bounce-higher-on-tech-gains-2017-08-16) as investors there digested the Fed minutes.
European markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-veer-lower-as-fed-rate-hike-doubts-hurt-bank-shares-2017-08-17) were broadly lower, after a three-day winning streak.
Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-after-eia-fueled-selloff-2017-08-17) continued to fall, extending losses made Wednesday after data showed U.S. oil production has jumped to a more than two-year high. Most metals prices, including , traded in positive territory.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 17, 2017 09:04 ET (13:04 GMT)
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