US Stock Futures Point To Lower Open On Monday Ahead Of April Retail Sales Data

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U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open on Monday ahead of release of retail sales data for April and business inventories report for March.  Markets were seen treading cautiously on the first working day of the week after scaling several record highs in the past week.

Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 0.31 percent  to 1,624.50 and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index slid 0.24 percent  to 2,968.25, while futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.15 percent  to 15,045.

Investors on Monday are likely to focus on the U.S. Department of Commerce's retail sales and core retail sales reports. The latter report measures the change in the total value of sales at the retail level in the U.S., excluding automobiles, and is considered an important indicator of consumer spending. The retail sales report measures the change in the total value of inflation-adjusted sales at the retail level and is scheduled for release at 8.30 a.m. EDT. Analysts expect both core retail sales and retail sales to decline by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, in April, in comparison to the 0.4 percent drop registered in each in the previous month.

Investors also await the business inventories report to be released by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday at 10 a.m. EDT. The Business Inventories report, which measures the change in the worth of unsold goods held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, is expected to increase by 0.3 percent in March after a 0.1 percent increase in February. The data is an important gauge of consumer demand.

In comparison, the wholesale inventories report released on May 9, which measures the change in the total value of goods held in inventory by wholesalers, had increased by 0.4 percent in March after registering a 0.3 percent decline in February.

U.S. stocks reverted to their winning streak on Friday after a brief pause on Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24 percent to close at 15,118.49, while the Standard & Poor's 500 stock Index climbed 0.43 percent to end the session at 1,633.70.  The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.80 percent to close at 3,436.58.

European shares were seen trading on a mixed note on Monday after China's industrial output data trailed forecasts.

The London's FTSE100 down 0.25 percent to 6608.25, France's CAC-40 shed 0.25 percent to 3945.38 and Germany's DAX retreated from an all-time high to 8,246.76, down 0.38 percent.   

Earlier, most Asian markets barring the Nikkei shed their previous gains following a stronger dollar, a mixed bag of economic data and a Wall Street Journal report that stated Federal Reserve officials have mapped out a strategy to wind down the bond-buying program.    

Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.42 percent to end at 22,989.81 while China's Shanghai Composite index declined 0.22 percent to 2,241.92. South Korea's KOSPI edged towards 1,948.70, up 0.20 percent.

Japanese stocks continued to surge on the back of the yen hitting a four-and-a-half-year-low against the dollar and an improved profit outlook from the listed non-financial companies. Dollar strengthened against yen after Tokyo escaped direct criticism of its aggressive monetary easing program at the Group of Seven meeting held over the weekend. The Nikkei ended the day 1.2 percent higher or 174.67 points at 14,782.21, its highest level in more than five years.  

Earlier, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on Monday showed that the country’s industrial production rose to 9.3 percent in April, up from 8.9 percent recorded in March, but less than Reuters analysts’ estimate of 9.5 percent growth.

China’s fixed asset investment posted a worse-than-expected rise in April as the data showed that the country’s fixed asset investment rose to 20.6 percent in April, down from 20.9 percent in March and less than analysts’ estimate of 21 percent.

However, the country’s retail sales edged up in-line with economists’ expectations to 12.8 percent in April from 12.6 percent recorded in March. 

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