US pre-open: Wall Street futures edge higher
US stock futures were showing small gains on Thursday, with the S&P 500 bouncing off a six-week low, on a quiet day for corporate earnings and economic data.
In pre-market trade, futures on the Dow and S&P 500 were 0.1% higher while the Nasdaq gained 0.2%.
The S&P 500 fell to 4,404 on Wednesday, its lowest close since 7 July, after minutes from July’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting hinted at the need for “further tightening of monetary policy” to tackle rising inflation, which they viewed as having “significant upside risks”.
“While the consensus continues to point to no change at the September meeting, the odds are rising for a further hike in November,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor. “Such uncertainty has led some investors to reconsider whether the fact that markets had been pricing in victory against inflation came too early, and in any event whether higher rates could remain in place for longer than had been anticipated.”
Eyes will now turn to the release of US weekly jobless claims data for the week to 12 August, which is expected to show 240,000 filings for unemployment benefits, down from 248,000 the week before.
Corporate news was thin on the ground, though some focus will be on Walmart as the retail titan announces its second-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell.
Ball Corp was making headlines after selling its aerospace division to London-listed defence giant BAE Systems for $5.55bn.
Cisco Systems was rising in pre-market trade after topping analysts’ estimates with its fourth-quarter results the previous evening.