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Aug 11, 2016

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications, by MarketWatch on August 11, 2016: U.S. Stock Futures Struggle to Push Higher as Oil Slump Keeps Lid on Rally

Sara Sjolin

U.S. stock futures inched higher on Thursday, but with investors keeping a cautious eye on oil prices as they fell closer to $40 a barrel after a lackluster forecast for energy demand.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU6, +0.28%  rose 21 points, or 0.1%, to 18,473, while those for the S&P 500 index ESU6, +0.23%  gained 1.30 points, or 0.1%, to 2,174. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQU6, +0.28%  added 5 points, or 0.1%, to 4,786.50.
The small gains come after U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday, dragged down by a slump in oil prices. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.29%  Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.40%  retreated from record levels, both down 0.4%, while the Dow average DJIA, -0.20%  slipped 0.2%.
Oil blues: “U.S. markets have been more responsive to the movements in oil over the last couple of weeks, something I expect to continue in the coming weeks if it falls back below $40,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in emailed comments.
Time (EDT)Crude Oil - Electronic Sep 20165 Aug8 Aug9 Aug10 Aug11 Aug
“It’s heading lower again this morning, which could weigh on indices after the open, but so far they appear to be holding up,” he added.
Crude oil prices CLU6, +0.14%  slid 1.3% to $41.16 a barrel on Thursday after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global oil demand next year, citing a dimmer economic outlook. The agency also warned in its monthly report that a “massive” stock overhang is keeping a lid on oil prices.
Economic news: Weekly jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. They are forecast to show a drop to 265,000 for the week ended August 6, down from 269,000 the previous week.
The import-price index for July is out at the same time.
There are no Federal Reserve speakers this week. The next big event for the central bank will be Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s appearance at the Jackson Hole conference on Aug. 26.
See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar
Movers and shakers: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. VRX, -2.98%  tumbled 11% ahead of the bell after news of a federal investigation into whether the drugmaker defrauded insurers.
Shares of Kura Oncology Inc. KURA, +1.87%  surged 42% in thin premarket trade after the biotech company late Wednesday said a phase 2 trial for one of its cancer drugs was showing “promising” results.
Shake Shack Inc. SHAK, -1.71%  tanked 10% ahead of the open after the burger chain late Wednesday posted weak sales growth in the second quarter.
Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. BUFF, +1.17%  may move after the company late Wednesday raised its outlook for the year as second-quarter results beat expectations.

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Ahead of the bell, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA, +2.45%  , Macy’s Inc. M, +0.65%  and Kohl’s Corp. KSS, +0.90%  are slated to report quarterly earnings. And after the market closes, Nordstrom Inc. JWN, +1.63%  and Planet Fitness Inc. PLNT, -0.64%  will put out their own financial updates.
Read: What to watch for in Macy’s earnings
Other markets: Asian markets closed mixed, with stocks in Shanghai SHCOMP, -0.53% ending lower, but the Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.39%  in Hong Kong closing higher.
European markets were also a mixed bag. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UKX, -0.34%  lost 0.6%, with the benchmark’s commodity majors dragging it lower. Sentiment was also hit by concerns over the Bank of England’s failed bond purchases, which sent shorter-dated gilt yields into negative on Wednesday.
The dollar DXY, +0.26%  rose against most other major currencies, adding pressure on gold GCZ6, +0.06%  .