By Ambar Warrick
Aug 18 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Tuesday, extending momentum from a tech-fuelled rally in the prior session that saw the Nasdaq hit a record high, with Home Depot setting an upbeat tone for a slew of business updates from major retailers.
The home improvement chain HD.N rose 2.8% in premarket trade, setting it to hit a record high, after its quarterly comparable same-store sales were much better than expected, as people focused on home repair while staying indoors.
Retail behemoth Walmart WMT.N rose 1.7% ahead of its results due at 7:00 a.m. ET.
Home Depot’s smaller rival Lowe’s LOW.N and supermarket operator Target TGT.N will report their quarterly earnings on Wednesday.
Markets were now looking to major retailers to gauge the American consumer’s resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter. Their reports will close out a better-than-feared earnings season.
The S&P 500 futures Escv1 hit a record high during Asian trade but later lost steam as caution over a Sino-U.S. spat grew after President Donald Trump announced further restrictions on tech giant Huawei Technologies Co HWT.UL.
While Wall Street has virtually recouped all of its pandemic-driven losses, with the S&P 500 hovering below record highs, the U.S. economy is yet to see such a recovery.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting, due on Wednesday, may provide some insight into how the central bank sees a recovery playing out.
July housing starts figures, due at 8:30 am ET (1230 GMT), are expected to show an ongoing recovery in the homebuilding sector, although it has a long way to reach pre-pandemic levels.
At 6:23 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 74 points, or 0.27%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 5.75 points, or 0.17% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 35 points, or 0.31%.
Oracle Corp ORCL.N rose 3.4% in premarket trade after a report said the company had held preliminary talks with TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, and was seriously considering buying the app’s operations in the United States.
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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