Wall Street set to open slightly lower; retail earnings and Powell testimony in focus

Wall Street stocks

Walmart, Home Depot earnings

U.S. stock index futures were pointing toward a lower open Tuesday after the Dow and the S&P 500 logged their best day since early April during the previous session, buoyed by hopeful developments surrounding a potential vaccine for COVID-19.

By 5:40 a.m. ET, futures tied to the Dow were down 54.5 points, or 0.22% to 24,425.5. S&P 500 futures dropped 8.62 points to 2,939.38 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures fell 6.25 points to 9,319.25.

Today, traders will focus on earnings reports from Dow heavyweights Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) before the session opens. Analysts expect Walmart to post earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $130.31 billion, while Home Depot is seen reporting earnings of $2.26 a share on revenue of $27.28 billion.

Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) also reports ahead of the bell and analysts expect it to post a loss of $1.75 per share on revenue of $2.16 billion.

Powell testimony eyed

Apart from retail earnings, traders will also be paying close attention as Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin remotely testify before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the $2.2 trillion virus rescue package approved by Congress in March.

According to planned testimony, Powell will tell the senators that the Fed will disclose the amounts borrowed as well as the interest rates it levies under its programs to provide loans for state and local governments, medium-sized businesses, and large corporations.

Meanwhile, Mnuchin will say that the Trump administration has processed more than 4.2 million loans for over $530 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Nasdaq reportedly seeking to tighten listing rules in a bid to restrict Chinese IPOs

In other news, Reuters is reporting that (NASDAQ: NDAQ) has proposed a set of new regulations that may make it harder for some Chinese companies to list on its stock exchange.

Although the proposed rules do not single out Chinese companies, they do include additional measures for firms that are mainly based in nations whose laws make it difficult for the U.S. regulators to carry out investigations.

Under the rules, firms from certain countries would have to raise at least $25 million in equity capital in an IPO or a quarter of their post-listing valuation to list.

According to documents filed by the New York-based stock exchange to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, stricter accounting rules will also apply for IPOs.