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Stock futures are higher when detailed earnings boost consumer confidence by Reuters




By Akanksha Rana

(Reuters) – US stock index futures stabilized on Thursday as strong results from retailers boosted consumer confidence, with investors looking forward to Fed Chief Jerome Powell's speech for more clues about future interest rate developments.

Upscale retailer Nordstrom Inc (N 🙂 jumped about 7% in premarket trading when it joined Target Corp (N 🙂 and Lowe's Cos Inc ( N 🙂 in delivering a quarterly profit hit.

"There is a continuing feeling that US consumer names are robust and it is important for a declining economy," said Art Hogan, chief strategist for National Securities in New York.

The publication of the minutes of the US Central Bank meeting July 30 ̵

1; 31 offered little clarity in the Fed's next move. The politicians were deeply divided over their quarterly rate cuts in interest rates, but united in wanting to signal the move was not on a preset path for further cuts.

While traders persist in betting that the Fed will cut interest rates again in September, Powell's speech at an annual Jackson Hole gathering on Friday may prove crucial to short-term sentiment.

President Donald Trump continues to push the Fed publicly to cut prices, but many analysts say the US economy is far further away from the recession than some European rivals or the bond market have at times in recent months suggested.

"The race for (Powell) to disappoint investors is out there, but he will probably use Jackson Hole to suggest the Fed is ready to cut (prices)," Hogan said.

At 8:40 am ET was up 36 points, or 0.14%. The S&P 500 e-minis increased by 3.75 points, or 0.13%, and increased by 5.25 points, or 0.07%.

Despite staging a comeback from last week's blue-collar sales, markets are still running to end the month lower, mainly due to concerns about the US-China trade war and its impact on growth.

The ongoing customs war and fears of recession have led China and Germany to assess the stimulus, with reports from the European Central Bank's recent policy meeting that signaled more relief as soon as September.

Following Better Procurement Investigations (PMI) in Europe on Thursday, investors will focus on US PMI data, due at 9.45 ET.

Tesla (O 🙂 rose 2.7% after a report said that Volkswagen (DE 🙂 CEO Herbert Diess is interested in acquiring a stake in the electric car manufacturer.

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