The Day Ahead: Futures Hover

 | Nov 22, 2013 | 8:10 AM EST
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Stock index futures pointed to little change at the start of trading Friday. Volume could begin to decline as the holiday week nears, and there's little on the economic calendar to spark interest.

However, retail could weigh on the market after Thursday's postbell earnings from Ross Stores (ROST). Shares slumped more than 7% in before-market trading after the company missed on revenue and lowered guidance.

Jim Cramer noted this morning that only a select group of retailers are managing to capitalize on the new habits of consumers.

Thursday, the major indices were resurgent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 16,000 for the first time ever, the S&P 500 just missing the 1800 level, and the Nasdaq closing within striking distance of 4000.

The week finishes quietly with just a couple of economic releases. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, is due from the Labor Department at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect the survey to show 3.83 million job openings at the end of August. And the Kansas City Fed releases its survey of regional manufacturing activity at 11 a.m. The bank's president, Esther George, will speak in Paris at 8:40 a.m. Also, look for Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo in Washington at 12:15 p.m.

Just a few earnings reports are expected this morning, notably from ANN (ANN), Foot Locker (FL) and PetSmart (PETM). John Reese recently identified the latter as a standout pick for its sector leadership, modest debt and attractive return on equity. Analysts are calling for the specialty pet store to earn $0.86 per share on sales of $1.7 billion for the third quarter.

Late Thursday, Gap (GPS) beat consensus net-income estimates by a penny per share with in-line revenue, and same-store sales grew by 1%. The apparel merchant also announced a $1 billion buyback and reaffirmed guidance that was below forecasts. Music-streaming service Pandora (P) reported quarterly earnings in line with views and posted a beat on sales, but its EPS outlook was less than expected.

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