Futures slip ahead of retail sales data

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday ahead of data that is likely to show the pace of the U.S. economic recovery slowed, while Home Depot kicked off the retail earnings season on a dour note.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The U.S. Commerce Department’s report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is expected to show retail sales slipped 0.3% last month after rising 0.6% in June.

Global equities started the week on the backfoot as tighter scrutiny of China’s internet sector and signs of slowing economic recovery, particularly in China, drove investors towards defensive parts of the market.

Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil, Schlumberger NV, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, Halliburton and Conocophillips slipped between 0.7% and 1.5% in premarket trading, tracking crude prices lower on weak Asian demand. [O/R]

Interest rate-sensitive lenders Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co and Goldman Sachs fell between 0.7% and 1.1%. [US/]

Still, the benchmark S&P 500 and Dow industrials closed at record highs on Monday as investors weighed concerns about a resurgence in global COVID-19 cases, the Federal Reserve’s potential policy tapering moves with a stellar earnings season.

Minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting, due on Wednesday, will be closely watched after Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said that one more month of strong job gains could satisfy the central bank’s requirements for beginning to reduce its monthly asset purchases.

At 6:57 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 208 points, or 0.59%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.45%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 47.25 points, or 0.31%.

Mega-cap technology stocks Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc, Netflix Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com and Google-owner Alphabet Inc were down between 0.2% and 0.3%.

Home Depot Inc fell 3.9% after it missed estimates for U.S. quarterly same-store sales, as a pandemic-driven surge in demand for do-it-yourself home-improvement products waned with people increasingly venturing outside their houses.

Walmart Inc fell 1.3% even after the world’s no. 1 retailer raised its annual U.S. same-store sales forecast.

Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme’s earnings report is due later in the day.

Spirit Airlines dropped 4.7% after it cut its revenue and margin forecast for the third quarter, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases drags booking trends.

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