Stock futures are flat as investors remain cautious for September
Stock futures were flat in overnight trading on Thursday, with investors remaining cautious about September.
Dow futures fell 20 points. S&P 500 futures fell 0.08% and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.09%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 63 points on Thursday, after dropping as low as 274 points. The S&P 500 lost 0.16%.
The Nasdaq Composite outperformed, rising 0.13% as Netflix, Microsoft and Amazon all closed in the green.
The Census Bureau reported Thursday that August retail sales rose 0.7% for the month compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a decline of 0.8%. However, the pace of retail sales came after the original estimate for July was revised down sharply from a 0.5% month-over-month gain to a 1.0% decline. 8%.
A separate economic report showed weekly jobless claims rose to 332,000 for the week ended Sept. 11, according to the Labor Department. The Dow Jones estimate was 320,000.
“The economy is generally thought to be slowing under the weight of the Delta variant. Combined with historic poor stock market seasonality in September and lingering fears of inflation, investors have recently become cautious,” said Jim Paulsen, Chief Investment Strategist for Leuthold. Group. “With the unexpected resumption of economic growth, investors are wondering if they have been too cautious in keeping an offer below the overall stock market.”
Stocks are heading towards Friday with modest gains for the week. The Dow Jones is up 0.41% and the S&P 500 is up 0.34% since Monday. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.44% this week.
Meanwhile, for the month, stocks are in the red. The Dow Jones is down 1.7% in September. The S&P 500 is down 1.1% this month, but still just 1.6% from its all-time high. The Nasdaq lost 0.5% this month.
The story isn’t on the market side either, as September tends to be a generally negative month for stocks. Friday begins a historically low period for stocks, as September’s losses typically occur in the second half of the month.
Friday marks Quadruple Witching Day, during which, during the last hour of stock trading, stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures expire.