U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Thursday following mixed economic data this week, while chip designer Nvidia rose after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue.
Wall Street closed the previous session lower as a grim outlook from Target Corp (TGT.N) sparked concerns about retailers heading into the crucial holiday season, while semiconductor shares (.SOX) slid 4.3% after Micron Technology Inc’s (MU.O) supply cut.
Stronger-than-expected retail sales numbers on Wednesday raised concerns that continued strength in spending will keep the U.S. Federal Reserve on track to tighten monetary policy further, even as subsiding inflation gives the central bank room to scale back the size of its interest rate hikes.
“Wall Street was rattled by a conflicting retail picture,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“Overall sales were stronger than expected showing consumer resilience had not been knocked by super-sized interest rate hikes aimed at pulling down the price spiral. This has added to expectations that higher rates will have to linger for a lot longer to make a difference.”
J.P.Morgan economists predict a “mild recession” in the back half of next year given expectations for the Fed to tighten monetary policy further in its battle against inflation.
At 04:39 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 41 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.75 points, or 0.12%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 8.75 points, or 0.07%.