Stock futures search for direction ahead of retail sales, earnings reports

Markets have come to grips with not getting stimulus anytime soon: Bob Doll

Nuveen chief equity strategist Bob Doll provides insight into coronavirus stimulus, markets and economic recovery.

U.S. equity futures are trading cautiously following a third day of declines for the S&P 500.

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The major futures indexes are suggesting a mixed open when trading begins.

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Investors remain concerned about the presidential election and an economic stimulus package, on top of flaring outbreaks of coronavirus.

On the economic front, the big Friday focus will be retail sales for September, which are expected to rise by 0.7%, up from August's 0.6% increase.

Other reports include Industrial production and the preliminary consumer sentiment report from the University of Michigan.

A busy week for earnings wraps up with results from Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, Citizens Financial Group and oilfield services giant Schlumberger.

TRUMP SAYS HE'S CONSIDERING CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PROPOSAL ABOVE $1.8T AMID IMPASSE

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1% and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.1%.

Wall Street has turned cautious this week amid a confluence of worrisome trends for the economy, which is still hampered by the pandemic. Coronavirus infections are rising in Europe, prompting governments in France and Britain to impose new measures to contain the outbreak. Caseloads are also climbing in the Americas and parts of Asia.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 28494.2 -19.80 -0.07%
SP500 S&P 500 3483.34 -5.33 -0.15%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11713.870476 -54.86 -0.47%

In the U.S., investor optimism that the Trump administration and Congress will soon reach a deal on another round of stimulus for the economy has waned.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell for a third day, slipping 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%, while the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.5%.

ANOTHER 898,000 AMERICANS FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT AID LAST WEEK AS LAYOFFS PERSIST

U.S. data on unemployment claims also weighed on investor sentiment. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 898,000.

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In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 25 cents to $40.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 8 cents on Thursday to $40.96. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 29 cents to $42.88 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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