STOCK NEWS: Futures Lower, Lowe’s & Target Earnings, Retail Sales

US stock futures traded lower ahead of a major retail sales report and earnings reports from major retailers.

Major futures indices point to a 0.5% drop as the opening bell rings on Wall Street.

Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday after hitting a six-month low the previous day.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded around $87.00 a barrel. Brent oil futures were around $92.00 a barrel.

On the economic calendar, economists surveyed by Refinitiv expect retail sales to rise 0.1% month-on-month, well below the stronger-than-expected 1.0% increase in June. Excluding the auto component, we see spending down 0.1% in July, compared to an increase of 1.0% in the previous month.

The parade of retail revenue continues Wednesday morning, with home improvement chain Lowe’s and major department store chain Target. In the afternoon, the focus will be on computer network giant and Dow member Cisco Systems.

Asian stocks were largely higher on Wednesday as regional markets looked for strong economic signals from the US and China as growth drivers.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.5% and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, its third gain in a row, adding 8.06 points to 4,305.20. The Dow gained 239.57 points, or 0.7%, to 34,152.01. The Nasdaq fell 25.50 points, or 0.2%, to 13,102.55.

Walmart rose 5.1% after the country’s largest retailer reported strong results that easily beat analysts’ forecasts. Home Depot rose 4.1% after also reporting better-than-expected results.

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