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* Home Depot set to hit record high
* S&P 500 to open few points away from record level
* Futures up: Dow 0.20%, S&P 0.16%, Nasdaq 0.34% (Adds comment, details, updates prices)
Aug 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to extend gains on Tuesday as strong results from major retailers underscored the strength of the U.S. consumer during the coronavirus pandemic.
Shares of Home Depot Inc rose 1% in premarket trade after the home improvement chain posted quarterly same-store sales well above expectations.
Walmart Inc reported record growth in online sales but its shares, which hit a record high in the previous session, slipped 0.6%.
Home Depot’s smaller rival Lowe’s Cos Inc and supermarket operator Target Corp rose ahead of their quarterly earnings on Wednesday.
“The broader implication of what you are seeing in spending patterns is that market breadth will improve from here on,” said Anik Sen, global head of equity at PineBridge Investments in New York.
Earnings from retailers this week are expected to close out a better-than-feared earnings season, which has been one of the triggers for a recent rally.
While Wall Street has virtually recouped all of its pandemic-driven losses, with the S&P 500 hovering near 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 an economic recovery playing out.
“The biggest driver of the market right now is that central banks continue to be extremely supportive from a policy standpoint. The issue is still that large parts of the economy are fragile,” PineBridge Investments’ Sen said.
At 8:17 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.16%, after hitting an intraday high of 3,388.75. At current levels, the S&P 500 was set to open about 4 points below a record intraday high.
Dow e-minis were up 56 points, or 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 38 points, or 0.34%.
Shares of department store chain Kohl’s Corp fell 4% despite beating estimates for quarterly net sales.
Shares of Oracle Corp rose 2.8% following a report that 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 and Anil D’Silva)
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