US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow futures retreat after weak retail sales data

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow futures retreat after weak retail sales data

Reuters  | Aug 14, 2020 21:20

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow futures retreat after weak retail sales data

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* Applied Materials Inc rises on strong Q4 outlook
* Retail sales rise 1.2% in July vs 7.5% gain in June
* Tesla rises on Morgan Stanley upgrade
* Futures: Dow down 0.33%, S&P down 0.1%, Nasdaq up 0.24%

(Adds comment, details, updates prices)
By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh
Aug 14 (Reuters) - Futures linked to the S&P 500 and Dow
dipped on Friday as data showed domestic retail sales growth
slowed more than expected in July, adding to worries about a
wobbly post-pandemic economic recovery in the absence of a new
U.S. fiscal stimulus bill.
Aggressive stimulus measures have helped Wall Street's main
indexes bounce from a coronavirus-driven crash in March, and the
S&P 500 .SPX briefly traded above its Feb. 19 record close for
a second straight day on Thursday.
But the benchmark index has struggled to top its all-time
high of 3,393.52, which was also hit on Feb. 19.
Data on Friday showed U.S. retail sales increased less than
expected last month and could slow further due to spiraling
COVID-19 cases and a reduction in unemployment benefit checks.
The reading also comes at a time when the domestic labor
market is struggling and a nascent rebound in China appears to
be slowing. "The state of the consumer and the ability in the interest
to spend is going to be key in self sustaining the economic
recovery ultimately," said Mark Luschini, chief investment
strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
A deadlock between top Democrats and the White House over
more stimulus measures to support the economy have also been a
major point of focus.
Uncertainty over the timing of an agreement has undercut
sentiment in recent sessions, with the upcoming U.S.
presidential elections expected to add another layer of caution.
At 8:55 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 93 points,
or 0.33%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 3.25 points, or 0.1%
and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 27 points, or 0.24%.
Leading gains among Nasdaq 100 stocks trading before the
bell was Applied Materials Inc AMAT.O , up 3.7%, after it
forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analysts' estimates
following a rebound in demand for chip equipment and services.
Electric car maker Tesla TSLA.O rose 3.2% after Morgan
Stanley upgraded the stock, citing potential in the firm's
battery business. Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc BIDU.O posted
quarterly revenue a notch above estimates, but its shares slid
5.1% after its streaming service iQIYI IQ.O said it was being
probed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shares of iQIYI dropped 10.8%.

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