Tiffany, Staples earnings on deck; weekly jobless claims due
U.S. stock futures edged higher Thursday, signaling a comeback from a rally-breaking prior session, on the starting day of the highly anticipated gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Ahead of that symposium, fresh data on the U.S. labor market and a clutch of quarterly earnings from companies including Staples and Tiffany are scheduled for release.
But the highlight should be the central-bank summit, which has been on investors' minds this week, even though key speakers such as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen won't appear until Friday.
"Markets are hoping for a change in sentiment that can take us off the recent risk-off mode," said Michala Marcussen, chief economist at Societe Generale, in a note.
"We are inclined to think that the Jackson Hole symposium will probably disappoint, with central bankers preferring to explain detailed actions in September," she said.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 28 points, or 0.1%, to 21,823.00, while futures for the S&P 500 Index moved up 2.25 points, or 0.1%, to 2,443.75. Nasdaq-100 turned higher, rising 10.75 points, or 0.2%, to 5,858.75.
The indicated gains would mark a slight recovery, after the main indexes finished in the red Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-rally-poised-to-peter-out-as-jackson-hole-comes-back-into-focus-2017-08-23), undoing previous solid gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index both fell 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.3%.
Equities' recent struggle has been put down in part (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-shutdown-threat-rattles-stock-market-2017-08-23) to U.S. President Donald Trump's threat late Tuesday to shut down the government if he did not get funding for a border wall with Mexico.
Words from Wyoming: The program for the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's symposium,, title "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy," is set for release (https://www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/escp) at 6 p.m. Mountain Time, or 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting runs through Saturday.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will be on the lineup with Yellen on Friday, and investors will watch for any hints on the path for monetary policy from both central bank chiefs.
"[Yellen's] speech is of great importance, given the recent warnings from the Fed on vulnerabilities associated with asset valuations. Few disagree that the global easy monetary policies have created overstretched valuations," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.
"Whether it's stocks, fixed income, real estate or bitcoins, there is a bubble somewhere," he wrote.
See:Here's what investors will be watching when Draghi, Yellen speak at Jackson Hole (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-investors-will-be-watching-when-draghi-yellen-speak-at-jackson-hole-2017-08-22)
Economic docket: The Labor Department's report on weekly jobless claims, scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, is expected to show a rise to 238,000.
Existing home sales in July are expected to decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.50 million. The report from the National Association of Realtors is due at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Earnings reports: Ahead of the bell, quarterly reports are due from Staples Inc.(SPLS) , and from jewelry retailers Tiffany & Co.(TIF) and Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG) . Food producers J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) and Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) are also set to report before trading gets under way.
Other markets: Asian stock markets ended mixed, with Hong Kong shares higher and Japan's Nikkei losing ground. European equities were modestly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-post-cautious-gains-as-jackson-hole-day-arrives-2017-08-24).
The ICE Dollar Index was up 0.2% at 93.32. A single bitcoin was up 2.7% to $4.254.77.
Oil prices edged lower, while gold prices slipped 0.2% to $1,286.30 an ounce.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 24, 2017 05:48 ET (09:48 GMT)