Stock futures rise ahead of retail earnings

Earnings are due before the bell from Target and Lowe's.

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U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open as a number of retailers prepare to report earnings.

The major futures indexes are indicating a gain of 1.2 percent when the Wall Street session begins.

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Retailers including Target and Lowe's reported results on Wednesday.

Target's earnings beat on both profit and revenue. Stay-at-home orders imposed to contain the virus powered a 141 percent jump in Target's online comparable sales, accounting for almost all of its same-store sales growth.

Lowe's reported higher earnings and revenue and same store sales rose 11 percent.

Wall Street stocks ended broadly lower on Tuesday, as trading turned wobbly a day after the market notched its biggest jump in more than five weeks.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26075.3+369.21+1.44%
SP500S&P 5003185.04+32.99+1.05%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10617.443394+69.69+0.66%

The S&P 500 fell 1 percent after having been up by 0.4 percent in the early going. Losses in banks, health care stocks and household goods companies accounted for a big portion of the selling.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6 percent. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.5 percent.

Asian shares were mixed Wednesday as market players waffled between hopes for recovery as economies gradually reopen and worries over the havoc wreaked by the pandemic.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei rose 0.8 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1 percent and China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.5 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE rose 0.2 percent, Germany's DAX added 0.6 percent and France's CAC was little changed.

Investors are betting that the economy and corporate profits will begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. and countries around the world slowly open up again. However, concerns remain that the relaxing of stay-at-home mandates and the reopening of businesses could lead to another surge in infections, potentially ushering in another wave of shutdowns.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.130.68+2.93+2.29%
KSSKOHL'S CORP.21.09+0.48+2.33%

Walmart reported a 74 percent surge in fiscal first-quarter sales as people stocked up on crucial supplies while sheltering in place due to the coronavirus. Its earnings fell as it spent $900 million in additional compensation for workers, but still topped Wall Street's forecasts.

Kohl’s, whose stores have been closed during the outbreak, fell 7.7 percent after reporting that it swung to a $541 million quarterly loss as its revenue sank more than 40 percent.

Traders also hammered shares in Home Depot after the home improvement supply chain reported quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street's estimates.

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Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 13 cents to $32.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 31 cents to $31.96 on Tuesday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 41 cents to to $35.06 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.