Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMZ6, +0.42% rose 18 points, or 0.1%, to 17,938, while those for the S&P 500 index ESZ6, +0.44% added 1.70 points, or 0.1%, to 2,115. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQZ6, +0.40% climbed 2.50 points, or 0.1%, to 4,730.50.
The small advances come after the Dow industrials DJIA, -0.18% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.06% closed in negative territory Wednesday in the wake of slumping crude-oil prices. Oil was wavering on Thursday, with crude CLV6, +0.99% flat around $43.57 a barrel and Brent LCOX6, +1.24% up 0.2% at $45.96.
Data deluge: However, the main focus for Thursday’s trading action is likely to be the deluge of economic data arriving premarket. In the limelight are retail sales for August, out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, as they work as a bellwether for the broader economy.
Sales have been somewhat soft in 2016, and economists polled by MarketWatch expect August to be no different — they forecast a 0.1% dip last month, slightly weaker than in July. Retail sales excluding volatile auto sales are forecast to have risen 0.2%.
“This won’t be enough to shift markets expectations on a rate move, but an upside surprise is likely to push the U.S. dollar higher,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, in a note.
The ICE dollar index DXY, +0.01% was 0.2% higher at 95.515 in early premarket trade.