Stock futures point to a muted session with eyes focused on retail earnings

Wall Street

Target, Lowe’s to report earnings

Wall Street looks set for a muted session on Wednesday after the major averages closed the previous session higher, following solid October retail sales data and upbeat quarterly results from Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD)

Today, market participants will seek out clues on the health of retailers as they await quarterly earnings updates from Target (NYSE: TGT) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW).

Analysts Lowe’s to report earnings of $2.35 per share on revenue of $21.99 billion ahead of the opening bell.

Target is projected to have earned $2.83 per share and revenue of $24.78 billion in its latest quarter.

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow Jones were down 9 points to 36,052. S&P The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6.5 points to 16,307.25 while S&P 500 futures were flat.

Yellen says the U.S. could hit debt limit on Dec. 15

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned lawmakers that the Treasury could be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance government operations beyond Dec. 15.

In a letter to Congress, Yellen also warned that the government could shut down as soon as Dec. 3. She urged lawmakers to “raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible” to ensure the full faith and credit of the United States.

Last month, Congress okayed a debt limit extension, and since then, the Treasury has been using a set of extraordinary measures to finance government operations.

But with the recent passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal, Treasury will be required to transfer $118 billion to the Highway Trust Fund within a month of the bill’s enactment, which would be on Dec. 15.

Biden to announce new Fed chair in ‘about 4 days’

President Joe Biden plans to announce a new Federal Reserve chair “in about four days,” as pressure mounts on his administration to make a decision with a few months until Jerome Powell’s term comes to an end.

Biden, who is weighing whether to give Powell another term or replace him with Fed governor Lael Brainard, told reporters on Tuesday that he would announce his decision in about four days.

Powell, who has long been considered the favored candidate, was appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 and his term ends in February.

Brainard, on the other hand, has the backing of progressive Democrats for her more tough stance on regulatory issues.