Market Snapshot: Dow futures struggle for direction as traders break for Thanksgiving
U.S. stock futures were struggling to make much headway on Thursday, as traders steered away from making any big trading bets and instead focused on Thanksgiving Day feasting.
The global backdrop for equities was mostly weaker, with Chinese stocks dropping sharply and European stocks largely sluggish except for French blue chips.
What are the main benchmarks doing?
S&P 500 futures ESZ7, +0.08% inched higher by 2.40 points, or 0.1%, to 2,597, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ7, +0.04% edged up by 15 points, or 0.1%, to 23,500. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ7, -0.07% dipped by 3.50 points, or 0.1%, to 6,386.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.08% and Dow DJIA, -0.27% posted modest declines, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.07% inched up slightly to eke out another record. Stocks saw muted action and thin trading volumes, as the latest Federal Reserve minutes left the door open slightly to keeping interest rates unchanged until the end of the year, as opposed to a hike in December.
The three equity benchmarks are up between 16% and 28% for the year as of Wednesday’s close, gains having been driven by an expanding U.S. economy, low returns for bonds, rising corporate profits and bets that the Trump administration will deliver tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.
Goldman Sachs: ‘Rational exuberance’ to drive stock market in 2018
What could help drive markets?
U.S. financial markets will be completely shut on Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, and trading closes early on Friday. Roughly half of normal trading volumes are expected on Friday.
Read: When do markets close for Thanksgiving?
And check out: 6 things all investors should be thankful for
Retailers could be in focus when investors return Friday on one of the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday. Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +1.46% and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, -0.11% are among the companies expected to compete for buyers’ attention with a wide range of deals.
Read: How Goldman Sachs says you should play retail stocks ahead of Black Friday
Opinion: Investors can feel safe ignoring the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping reports
What are other assets doing?
European stocks SXXP, +0.01% were largely little changed, while Asian markets logged losses.
The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -2.29% slumped 2.3% amid concerns about regulatory moves in China to tighten up financial conditions. It marked the first time since Aug. 25 that the index finished with a drop or gain of at least 1%.
Oil futures CLF8, +0.47% were modestly higher, building on Wednesday’s gain that came after the release of data that showed a drop in U.S. crude supplies. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.11% and gold futures GCZ7, -0.10% both dipped.