MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Kept In Check By Worries Over North Korea, Hurricane Irma

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Cruise operators have canceled or rerouted sailings as Irma hits

Lingering concerns over North Korea kept a lid on U.S. stock futures early Wednesday, as "potentially catastrophic" Hurricane Irma headed for American shores, also dampening the investing mood.

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Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 10 points at 21,774, while those for the S&P 500 index climbed 0.80 point to 2,460.25. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 Index put on 9.50 points, or 0.2%, to 5,948.75.

U.S. stocks closed firmly lower on Tuesday, as investors focused on heightened geopolitical tensions after North Korea said it had successfully tested its biggest-ever nuclear bomb ( The S&P 500 index snapped a six-day winning run (, closing 0.8% lower, while the Dow average finished down 1.1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.9%.

"Risk aversion seems to be the theme of the week, as market participants are looking for safe havens amid geopolitical concerns and natural disaster threats," said Konstantinos Anthis, researcher at ADS Securities, in a note.

North Korea is feared to be preparing to launch a new intercontinental ballistic missile as soon as Saturday, when the isolated country celebrates its founding day.

Adding to the downbeat tone was Hurricane Irma, which was barreling toward U.S. territory ( in the Caribbean and potentially Florida, where a state of emergency has been declared ( Irma was Tuesday upgraded to a Category 5 storm as it gathered strength in the Atlantic Ocean. On Wednesday morning, it made landfall in the Caribbean, with the eye passing over Barbuda.

Cruise operators have been forced to cancel or reroute sailings ( as Irma heads toward popular Caribbean destinations. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.(NCLH) has canceled trips, while Carnival Corp.(CCL) has revised the itineraries of four ships. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.(RCL) is evaluating five sailings. Shares of the cruise lines weren't moving premarket on Wednesday.

Read:One way Irma could affect the U.S. -- even if it misses Florida (

Another Tropical Storm, Jose, is gathering strength in the Atlantic and may shape up as another hurricane. The weather threats come after Hurricane Harvey caused flooding and devastation in Texas, forcing the closure of oil refineries.

Economic news: A report on the foreign trade deficit for July is slated for release at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by the Markit services purchasing managers' index for August at 9:45 a.m. Eastern.

The ISM manufacturing index is due for release at 10 a.m. Eastern, while the Federal Reserve beige book is on the docket for 2 p.m.

There are no Federal Reserve speakers on the calendar.

See: MarketWatch's economic calendar (

Stock movers: Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.(HPE) climbed 3.6% before the bell. The company late Tuesday reported earnings that beat forecasts ( after the spinoff of some software assets.

In Wednesday's earnings, JinkoSolar Holding Co.(JKS) is slated to report before the bell, as is Navistar International Corp.(NAV) .

Other markets:Asian stocks ( closed mainly lower, while European stocks continued lower ( for a third straight day.

Oil prices rose, while gold prices moved slightly higher. The dollar was little changed against other major currencies, with the ICE Dollar Index down 0.1% at 92.144.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 06:20 ET (10:20 GMT)