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Stock futures are flat as investors remain cautious about September


Stock futures were steady in overnight trading on Thursday as investors remain cautious about the month of September.

Dow futures dropped 20 points. S&P 500 futures dropped 0.08% and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.09%.

On ThursdayThe Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63 points after falling as low as 274 at its lowest point. The S&P 500 fell 0.16%.

The Nasdaq Composite was the outperformer, rising 0.13% as Netflix, Microsoft and Amazon all closed in the green.

The Census Bureau reported Thursday that August’s retail sales increased 0.7% for the month against the Dow Jones estimate of a decline of 0.8%. The retail sales beat was achieved after the original estimate of July’s growth of 0.5% month over month, to 1.8% decline, was sharply revised.

According to Labor Department, a separate economic report revealed that the weekly number of jobless claims rose to 33,000 for the week ending Sept. 11. Dow Jones estimated 320,000.

The Delta variant is thought to have a slowing effect on the economy. Jim Paulsen is chief investment strategist of Leuthold Group. He said that this, along with the historical September stock markets seasonality, and continued fears of inflation has led investors to become more cautious. With unexpected economic growth reviving, investors begin to question whether it was too prudent keeping an eye on the overall stock markets.

With modest gains, stocks are headed into Friday. The Dow is up 0.41% and the S&P 500 is up 0.34% since Monday. The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.44% for the week.

Stocks are currently in red for the month. In September, the Dow was down 1.7%. The S&P 500 is off by 1.1% this month but still just 1.6% from its all-time high. The Nasdaq is down 0.5%.

The market is not immune to September’s negative trend. Friday begins a historically weak period for stocks as those September losses typically come in the back half of the month.

Friday’s Quadruple witching day is when stocks index futures, stock options and stock options expire in the last hour of stock exchange trading.