Stock futures down; Retail sales, Fed minutes, Target, Lowe’s, and more

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Weak open ahead for markets

Stock futures edged lower early Wednesday morning ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales data for July, due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economists expect the data to show that retail sales increased 0.1% in July, compared with a 1% monthly gain in June.

At 5 a.m. ET, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 87 points, or 0.25% to 34,031. S&P 500 futures lost 16.75 points, or 0.39% to 4,291 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures shed 78.25 points, or 0.57% to 13,580.

On Tuesday, the Dow gained 240 points, or 0.71%, buoyed by upbeat quarterly results from Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD).

The S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.19%, to 4,305, while the Nasdaq Composite gave away 26 points, or 0.19%, to 13103.

Fed minutes on tap

Today’s calendar also features minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting.

At 2 p.m. ET, the Fed will release minutes of its July policy meeting, at which it decided to further hike interest rates. The FOMC minutes could provide further clues about the pace of additional rate hikes.

Some Fed policymakers have signaled over the past week that they are open to the possibility of a bigger hike to battle elevated consumer prices.

Target, Lowe’s earnings on deck

On the earnings front, retailers Target (TGT), Lowe’s (LOW), and TJX Companies (TJX) are scheduled to announce their financial results ahead of opening bell.

Analysts expect Target to report earnings of 73 cents per share on revenue of $26.09 billion.

Lowe’s is seen reporting of $4.62 per share on revenue of $28.14 billion.

Other companies reporting today include Analog Devices (ADI), Krispy Kreme (DNUT), and Cisco Systems (CSCO).

Elon Musk says he was just joking about buying Manchester United

In other news, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has clarified that his tweet about buying Manchester United (MANU) was all a joke.

The tech mogul sent the internet into a frenzy late Tuesday after he tweeted that he was buying the English soccer club.

Musk tweeted: “I’m buying Manchester United ur [sic] welcome.” However, a few hours after that tweet, he clarified that “this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams.”

In a third tweet, Musk said that if he were to ever attempt to purchase a sports team it would be Manchester United since it was his favorite team as a child.

Musk is currently caught in a legal battle over his proposed $44 billion takeover off Twitter (TWTR), a deal he is trying to exit.

On the other hand, Manchester United is sitting bottom of the English Premier League and angry fans have been calling for the club’s current owners, the American Glazer family, to leave.

As of writing, Manchester United shares were marked 4.15% to $13.31 apiece in Wednesday’s premarket trading session.

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