Stock futures take a breather on soft holiday retail sales – Fox Business

Equity futures are pointing to a lower open when trading begins following four straight sessions of gains.

Dow Jones futures were lower by 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 slipped 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was off 0.5 percent.


The retail sector is taking a hit in the premarket with Macy’s shares down 17 percent after slashing its outlook for profit, sales and gross margin, as sales weakened in late December.

Shares of Kohl’s fell more than 7 percent as the retailer boosted its full-year profit forecast, but did say that sales during the holidays slowed.

Shares of Target and JCPenney were also lower.

Airlines shares also weighed on major averages as American Airlines cut its guidance on a disappointing U.S. market in the fourth quarter. 

American Airlines was down 7 percent, JetBlue fell more than 4 percent and Southwest Airlines stock declined nearly 4 percent.

On the economic calendar, weekly jobless claims fell by a more than expected 17,000 claims to 216,000.

The recent rally in stocks has been fueled by optimism over trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Talks between the trade delegations got underway on Monday and were extended to an unexpected third day on Wednesday, boosting optimism that a deal could be reached.

A member of the U.S. trade delegation called this week’s trade talks in China “a good few days.”

In Asian markets on Thursday, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.4 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained for a fifth day, adding 0.2 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei ended the day down 1.3 percent.

Checking European trading, London’s FTSE was lower by 0.3 percent, Germany’s DAX was down 0.4 percent and France’s CAC fell 0.8 percent.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 23879.12 +91.67 +0.39%
SP500 S&P 500 2584.96 +10.55 +0.41%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 6957.0765 +60.08 +0.87%

Shares hit session highs on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve released minutes of the December meeting of its powerful rate-setting committee. Those minutes confirmed that the U.S. central bank approved of a dovish approach to interest rate hikes in 2019. The committee agreed to a “limited amount” of tightening of monetary policy this year in the midst of uncertainties about global growth.


The positive close Wednesday marked the longest winning streak in four months for the S&P 500 and two months for the  Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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