Wall Street remains cautious on Thursday after positive data rescued it yesterday, helping the major averages close to slightly higher. A couple of market moving domestic economic reports on jobless claims and personal spending could come to the aid of the markets if these beat expectations. Chain store sales to be released by the nation's retailers may also impact sentiment. With so much expectations built around Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Jackson Hole address on Friday, the markets would require more than data support to remain afloat.
As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are declining 38 points, the S&P 500 futures are moving down 4.70 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are receding 9.25 points.
U.S. stocks saw some upside on Wednesday, thanks to some forecast beating domestic economic data that allayed growth concerns to some extent.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended August 25th at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect claims to decline to 370,000 from 372,000 in the previous week.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is due to release its personal income & outlays report for July. Economists expect the report, which is due out at 8:30 am ET, to show that personal income rose 0.3 percent, while personal spending is expected to have increased by 0.5 percent. In June, personal income rose by 0.5 percent, while personal spending remained unchanged.
The Kansas City Federal Reserve is due to release the results of its manufacturing survey for August at 11 am ET.
In corporate news, Costco (COST) reported comparable store sales of 6 percent for August, while excluding the impact of inflation in gasoline prices and currencies, the comparable store sales growth for the month was 6 percent. Standard & Poor's announced that LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) will replace Sears Holdings (SHLD) in the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading on September 4th.
Christopher & Banks' (CBK) second quarter results were ahead of estimates. The company said it expects positive comparable store sales for its third and fourth quarters.
Coldwater Creek (CWTR) reported a second quarter net loss of 14 cents per share compared to a net loss of 30 cents per share in the year-ago period. Sales fell to $163.7 million from $181.4 million last year, trailing the consensus estimate. For the third quarter, the company expects a net loss of 16-20 cents per share.
TiVO's (TIVO) second quarter results exceeded estimates. For the third quarter, the company expects service and technology revenues to be $57 million to $59 million and a net loss of $27 million to $29 million.
Oxford Industries' (OXM) second quarter results were ahead of expectations and the company's full year guidance also surrounded the consensus estimate, while its third quarter guidance was weak.
Most Asian markets retreated, with the exception of the Malaysian and New Zealand markets. The Indonesian market led the region's retreat, with the Jakarta Composite Index slipping over 2 percent. The markets in the region chose to ignore the uneasy advance by Wall Street overnight and instead began to be apprehensive about possible stimulus announcement by Bernanke at the Jackson Hole meeting on Friday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average languished below the unchanged line throughout the session, closing down 86.03 points or 0.95 percent at 8,984. Most sectors declined, with the exception of defense utilities and banks.
Japanese retail sales fell a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent month-over-month in July, according to a report released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Economists expected a more modest 0.5 percent drop.
Australia's All Ordinaries closed 41.30 points or 0.94 percent at 4,340. Sentiment was also hurt by a weak domestic housing report. Energy and material stocks slumped, although healthcare stocks bucked the downtrend with notable advances.
A report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that dwelling approvals fell 17.3 percent month-over-month in July, steeper than the 1 percent drop in the previous month.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended at 19,553, down 235.60 points or 1.19 percent.
European stocks are also trading lower for the third straight session, with sentiment remaining fragile, given the economic uncertainties.
In corporate news, French brewer Pernod Ricard reported fiscal 2011-12 net profit from recurring operations of 1.20 billion euros on 7 percent sales growth to 8.22 billion euros. U.K.'s Barclays (BCS) announced the appointment of Antony Jenkins, the head of its retail banking business, replacing Robert Diamond, who resigned in the wake of the LIBIOR rate fixing scandal.
French retailer Carrefour reported a narrower loss for its first half, while its pro forma EBIT declined to 769 million euros from 838 million euros in the year-ago period French media giant Vivendi reported a decline in its second quarter earnings and revenues, dragged by the weak performance of its SFR mobile phone unit.
On the economic front, a report from the German Federal Labor Agency showed that the number of unemployed persons in Germany rose by 9,000 in August from the previous month. Economists expected a more modest 7,000 increase for the month. That said, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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