Investing.com– U.S. stock futures inched lower Thursday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains ahead of earnings from retail giant Walmart (NYSE:WMT). By 06:25 ET (11:25 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was largely flat, while S&P 500 Futures traded 2 points, or 0.1%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 26 points, or 0.2%. The main indices on Wall Street closed higher Wednesday, aided by the largest monthly drop in wholesale prices since 2020 in October, which bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve could have ended its interest rate increases.
The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average added over 160 points, or 0.5%, while the benchmark S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1%, adding to Tuesday’s sharp gains. Sentiment was also boosted by the news that the U.S. Senate passed a stopgap spending bill and sent it to President Joe Biden to sign into law before a weekend deadline, avoiding a damaging partial government shutdown. Economic data deluge There is more data to digest Thursday, in the form of weekly jobless claims, industrial and manufacturing production for October, and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index for November, as well as a series of Fed speakers. Fed officials meet next month for the last time this year to decide on interest rates, with futures markets widely expecting the U.S. central bank to leave interest rates unchanged in December, before cutting next spring if conditions continue to show improvement. Walmart quarterly results due In the corporate sector, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is set to deliver its latest quarterly results on Thursday, with investors keen for more details on how the retail giant sees trading evolving heading into the key holiday shopping season. Earnings are also due from the likes of fellow retailers Macy’s (NYSE:M) and Gap (NYSE:GPS), as well as from Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH).
Additionally, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) stock dropped sharply premarket after the company cut its full-year revenue and profit forecasts in a sign that demand for its networking equipment was slowing. Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) stock fell after the cybersecurity company posted solid first-quarter results but issued second-quarter and full-year billing guidance below estimates. Oil slips as U.S. inventories rise Oil prices retreated Thursday after U.S. inventories rose more than expected, adding to concerns over lackluster energy demand from China.
By 06:25 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% lower at $76.53 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.2% to $81.06 a barrel. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude stocks rose a more than expected 3.6 million barrels in the week to November 10, while U.S. production remained at record highs of 13.2 million barrels per day through the week. In Asia, China’s oil refinery throughput eased in October from the previous month’s highs as industrial fuel demand weakened and refining margins narrowed. Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,968.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0857. (Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)