Wednesday November 17th


Stock futures are little changed after Lowe’s and Target post earnings beats

U.S. stock index futures were little changed in morning trading Wednesday as investors weighed strong earnings reports from big-box retailers against lingering inflation concerns and continued digesting strong retail data. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 57 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed. Target posted beats on the top and bottom lines, but its CEO noted rising costs may have an impact on the company going forward as it plans to absorb those costs rather than pass them onto the customer. Shares slid 3.3% premarket. Home improvement giant Lowe’s saw shares rise, however, initially popping in premarket trading as the company not only topped estimates from the Street but also raised its full-year sales forecast. Shares were last higher by 1.4%. Shares of TJX jumped more than 6% after the apparel and home retailer reported a quarterly earnings beat on the top and bottom lines as well as a same-store sales increase of 14% year-over-year. Elsewhere, shares of Dow component Boeing rose nearly 2% in premarket trading after the company received an Akasa Air order for its 737 MAX worth $9 billion. The aerospace company’s stock has been a laggard this year, up just 5.5%. Also, Tesla climbed higher by about 1% as the stock continued its rebound from a 15.4% loss last week, when CEO Elon Musk began his Tesla stock sell-off. On the downside, Visa shares slumped about 2% after Amazon said it will stop accepting payments made via Visa credit cards issued in the U.K. starting next year. The moves in futures trading come after fresh economic data and corporate earnings signaled U.S. consumers are ramping up spending despite rising prices. On Tuesday the Dow added 54.77 points, or 0.15%. The S&P 500 gained 0.39% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.76%. Retail sales rose 1.7% in October, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, faster than economists expected. The figure measures how much consumers spend on goods across a number of categories. Strong quarterly results from Home Depot also boosted investor sentiment Tuesday. The home improvement retailer led gainers on the Dow after earnings topped analyst estimates. Walmart also reported better-than-expected results, though its shares declined. “US stocks rallied after an impressive retail sales report, solid industrial production data, and retail earnings showed the consumer is handling the current pricing increases. All signs are pointing to a very strong holiday season for retailers and that should help keep sending stocks higher,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a Tuesday note. Investors await more retail earnings Wednesday from Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. Other major companies reporting results Wednesday include Cisco Systems and Nvidia. Declines across Asia-Pacific stocks were seen by Wednesday’s close, with data showing Japan’s exports growth hit an eight-month low. Markets in the U.S., however, were lifted on the back of stronger-than-expected retail sales data. Australia and South Korea led losses in the region. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.68% to close at 7,369.90. South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.16% to close at 2,962.42. Mainland Chinese stocks bucked the regional trend. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.44% to 3,537.37, while the Shenzhen Component rose 0.67% to close at 14,711.18. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.4% in the last hour of trade. Japan’s exports fall to eight-month low; auto shares slip. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.40% to close at 29,688.33, while the Topix dropped 0.61% to 2,038.34. Oil prices dropped on Wednesday after U.S. gasoline stocks fell more than expected last week, which could heighten pressure on the Biden administration to release oil from emergency reserves to cap soaring gasoline prices. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 76 cents, or 0.9%, to $80.00 a barrel, extending a 12 cent loss from Tuesday. Brent crude futures fell 72 cents, or 0.9%, to $82.71, erasing a 38 cent gain from Tuesday. Gold prices rose on Wednesday as concerns about inflation kept some investors on edge, while expectations that rising prices may prompt central banks to increase interest rates strengthened the dollar and capped bullion’s advance. Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,859.49 per ounce by 1100 GMT. U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,862.60.