Wednesday August 10th


US futures point to slightly higher open; earnings, oil eyed

U.S. stock index futures ticked slightly higher on Wednesday, with retail earnings take center stage and crude oil prices still in focus. U.S. second-quarter earnings due on Wednesday include Shake Shack. Michael Kors posted quarterly results that beat expectations on both lines, but the stock was down more than 2.5 percent in the premarket. Wendy's also posted better-than-expected earnings per share and revenue. Ralph Lauren shares popped more than 7 percent after its earnings came in sharply above expectations. The only major U.S. data due on Wednesday will be the Treasury budget for July and JOLTS jobs openings for June. There will also be the weekly MBA mortgage index and crude oil inventories. WTI and Brent crude futures traded lower early on Wednesday at around $42.60 per barrel and $45, respectively. The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release weekly inventories data. European stocks traded mixed early on Wednesday and Asia-Pacific indexes closed mostly lower overnight. In Australia, the ASX 200 closed down 0.16 percent, or 8.85 points, at 5,543.7, with its heavily-weighed sectors seeing declines. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.18 percent, 29.85 points, at 16,735.12, after trading positive earlier, while the Topix closed 0.2 percent lower, or 2.66 points, at 1,314.83. Chinese mainland markets ended the session lower, with the Shanghai composite closed down 0.21 percent, or 6.932 points, at 3,019.288 and the Shenzhen composite ended down 0.328 percent, or 6.496 points, at 1,976.164. Investors awaited important data out of China due Friday, including industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dipped 0.18 percent as of 3:26 p.m. HK/SIN time, while South Korea's Kospi closed effectively flat at 2,044.64. U.S. indexes ended flat to higher on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq index ending at a new record-high. Gold, often perceived as a hedge against economic and financial risk, was up 1 percent at $1,355.62 an ounce. The metal rose after a report that U.S. worker productivity fell for a third straight quarter in the spring of this year.