U.S. Stock Futures Higher
Reports Due on Jobless Claims, Home Sales
Updated September 26, 2013, 8:22 a.m. ET
By TOMI KILGORE
NEW YORK—U.S. stock futures nudged higher as the market attempted to stabilize after a recent string of losses.
About 90 minutes ahead of the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures advanced 18 points, or 0.1%, to 15228. On Wednesday, the Dow fell 61 points, or 0.4%, for its fifth-straight loss.
S&P 500 index futures tacked on three points, or 0.2%, to 1689 and Nasdaq-100 futures gained 13 points, or 0.4%, to 3213. Changes in stock futures don’t always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.
The S&P 500 also stretched its losing streak to five sessions on Wednesday, the longest such stretch since December 2012. Uncertainty over the Fed’s policy intentions and rising tension in Washington surrounding budget and debt-ceiling talks have weighed on sentiment.
Adam Sarhan, chief executive of investment firm Sarhan Capital, said the overall market may not be as weak as the major market indexes suggest, but it is a “fear-based environment.”
“We’re approaching the end of a [strong] month and quarter, so we could see some more profit-taking,” Mr. Sarhan said. “But this appears to be just another healthy, shallow pullback in size and scope, like we’ve seen a number of times over the last year.”
The S&P 500 is up 3.7% this month and 5.4% this quarter.
At 8:30 a.m. EDT, initial claims for jobless benefits in the latest week are expected to show a rise to 330,000 from an original estimate of 309,000 the week before. At the same time, the third look at second-quarter gross domestic period is expected show growth revised up to 2.8% from a previous estimate of 2.5%.
Pending home sales for August, due out at 10 a.m., are seen declining 1.5% on the month.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ticked up to 2.635% from a six-week low of 2.615% late Wednesday.
Front-month November crude oil futures edged up 0.5% to $103.18 a barrel, after settling at a near three-month low on Wednesday. September gold futures tacked on 0.2% to $1,338.30 an ounce. The dollar gained ground against both the yen and the euro.
European markets slipped. The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.1%, pressured by the string of losses in the U.S. markets.
Asian markets were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rallied 1.2% to a two-month high, as a weakened yen helped lift exporter shares. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.9%, as the euphoria over stocks linked to Shanghai’s proposed free-trade zone continued to fade.
In corporate news, J.C. Penney fell 9.4% in active premarket trading as concerns over possible liquidity problems for the retailer continued to grow. On Wednesday, the stock tumbled 15% to the lowest close since December 2000, after debt analysts from Goldman Sachs said weak performance could put pressure on its available cash in the current quarter.
Bed Bath & Beyond rallied 5.4% after the retailer reported late Wednesday fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst estimates, and provided an upbeat earnings outlook for the current quarter.
Write to Tomi Kilgore at email@example.com