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US pre-open: Futures in the green ahead of April retail sales figures

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Tuesday 17 May 2022

US pre-open: Futures in the green ahead of April retail sales figures

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were firmly in the green ahead of the bell on Tuesday as market participants awaited last month's retail sales data and digested news that Shanghai will look to ease lockdown measures next month.
As of 1225 BST, Dow Jones futures were up 1.29%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 1.60% and 1.92% higher, respectively.

The Dow closed just 26.76 points firmer on Monday, narrowly extending gains recorded at the tail end of last week.

Tuesday's primary focus will likely be the Census Bureau's April retail sales data at 1330 BST, with economists expecting to see a 0.9% month-on-month increase in sales. One of the core measures, the control group of retail sales used in GDP calculations was projected to have ticked up a solid 0.5% month-on-month following March's upwardly revised 0.7% increase.

Also drawing an amount of investor attention was news that Shanghai had outlined plans to return to more normal life from 1 June by ending over six weeks of Covid-19 lockdowns that have brought about a sharp slowdown in the nation's economic activity. Deputy mayor Zong Ming said Shanghai's reopening would be carried out in stages, with movement curbs largely to remain in place until 21 May in order to prevent a rebound in infections, before a gradual easing.

"From June 1 to mid-and late June, as long as risks of a rebound in infections are controlled, we will fully implement epidemic prevention and control, normalise management and fully restore normal production and life in the city," Ming said.

In other macro news, industrial production figures for April will be published at 1415 BST, while March business inventories numbers and the National Association of Housebuilder's May housing market index will follow at 1500 BST.

On the corporate front, Elon Musk has warned that his $44.0bn takeover approach for Twitter could fail if the social media platform is unable to prove how many accounts are fake. The Tesla CEO first announced on Friday that the deal was "on hold" until he gets the proof that fake accounts total "well under 5%" rather than the "20% fake/spam accounts" he now believes it to be.

In terms of earnings, home improvement retailer Home Depot raised its full-year guidance early on Tuesday after posting solid quarterly earnings, driven by the company's strongest first-quarter sales in its history, while shares in department store giant Walmart slumped in pre-market after reporting a Q1 earnings miss and guiding for flat Q2 earnings per share after previously pointing to a mid-single-digit increase.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com


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