U.S. stock futures are pointing lower in pre-market trading for Thursday, August 18. The Dow Futures are at 18538.0 down -3.00 points. The S&P 500 Futures are at 2179.25 for a loss of -0.50 points. The Nasdaq Futures are lower at 4801.25 for a loss of -2.75 points. The Russell Futures are at 1226.0 for a loss of -0.30 points.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere Japan’s Nikkei 225 is at 16486.01 for a loss of -259.63 or -1.55 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is at 23023.16 for a gain of 223.38 points or 0.98 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite is at 3104.11 for a loss of -5.44 points or -0.17 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex is at 28123.44 for a gain of 118.07 points or 0.42 percent. In Europe, the FTSE 100 is at 6865.44 for a gain of 6.29 points or 0.09 percent. Germany’s DAX is at 10591.38 for a gain of 53.71 points or 0.51 percent. France’s CAC 40 is at 4426.43 for a gain of 8.75 points or 0.20 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 is at 342.39 for a gain of 1.92 points or 0.56 percent.

Thursday’s Factors and Events

Market indexes are retreating slightly after Wednesday’s minutes from the FOMC helped stocks to end the day higher. Investors will be closely watching Fed speeches from Fed officials discussing the timing of the FOMC’s next rate increase.

On the economic calendar for Thursday will be the following: Jobless Claims, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, the Leading Indicators report from the Conference Board, the EIA Natural Gas Report, the Fed Balance Sheet and the Money Supply. Fed speeches on Thursday also include, John Williams, Robert Kaplan and William Dudley.

Stocks trading actively in the pre-market include the following:


Alliance Data System

Endo International


Seagate Technology

HP Inc

Southern Co.

Dollar General

Discovery Communications

Urban Outfitters

Earnings will continue to slow down with reports from approximately 30 companies. Retail earnings will continue to be in focus as retail companies Gap, New York & Company and Walmart report on Thursday.

Wednesday’s Activity

On Wednesday, stocks gained. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18573.94 for a gain of 21.92 points or 0.12 percent. The S&P 500 was also higher, closing at 2182.22 for a gain of 4.07 points or 0.19 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed higher at 5228.66 for a gain of 1.55 points or 0.03 percent.


Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance.

Other notable index closes included the small-cap Russell 2000 Index, lower at 1227.68 for a loss of -3.45 points or -0.28 percent; the S&P 600 Small-Cap Index lower at 743.88 for a loss of -1.83 points or -0.25 percent; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index at 1550.28 for a loss of -3.51 points or -0.23 percent; the S&P 100 Index at 966.49 for a gain of 1.93 points or 0.20 percent; the Russell 3000 Index at 1288.51 for a gain of 1.41 points or 0.11 percent; the Russell 1000 Index at 1208.11 for a gain of 1.70 points or 0.14 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index at 619.90 for a gain of 3.23 points or 0.52 percent.