Futures tick lower as retail earnings kick off

By Thomson Reuters Aug 16, 2022 | 6:29 AM

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures inched lower on Tuesday as investors assessed results from retailers Walmart and Home Depot, while signs of a slowing global economy continued to keep investors on edge.

Walmart Inc rose 3.3% in trading before the bell as the world’s largest retailer forecast a smaller drop in full-year profit than previously projected.

Home Depot Inc fell 1.1% even as the home improvement chain reported quarterly comparable sales above analysts’ estimates.

Despite a rough start to the year on fears of surging prices and rising rates tipping the U.S. economy into a recession, Wall Street indexes have recovered some of their sharp losses in the recent weeks on signs that inflation has peaked.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index has bounced nearly 24% off its mid-June lows.

Better-than-expected earnings from corporate America have been a bright spot for U.S. equities recently, with 77.6% of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results as of Friday beating analysts’ estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Focus will be on retail earnings and retail sales data this week for more clues on the impact of inflation on consumer behavior.

Investor sentiment is still bearish, but no longer “apocalyptically” so, according to BofA’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August, as hopes rise that inflation and interest rate shocks will end in the coming quarters.

At 07:12 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 17 points, or 0.05%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.5 points, or 0.13%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 18.25 points, or 0.13%.

Most high-growth and technology stocks edged lower in premarket trading on Tuesday, after leading the rally in the previous session and boosting the tech-heavy Nasdaq as U.S. Treasury yields pulled back.

Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp inched down, tracking a fall in crude prices on bleak demand outlook from top buyer China. [O/R]

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)