U.S. stock index futures are trading off meaningfully in early morning, indicated down 70 to 80 basis points as the overseas markets feel under pressure.
Fear in the U.S. continues to grow, as investors are convinced a U.S. interest rate hike is near. We don't see the data as suggesting that September should be "the" month, but markets are on edge as overall nervousness runs high and finger pointing to reasons becomes a popular sport.
A build-up in the U.S. supply of oil sent the price of oil to levels not seen in six years on Wednesday, as oil headed towards $40 a barrel and looks like it may even fall below the $40 mark.
And we can hardly believe it, but Greece made a 3.2 billion euro ($3.5 billion) payment to the ECB after receiving the first portion of its bailout funds.
In currency news, in a surprise move Kazakhstan let its tenge currency float freely and the exchange rate has dropped a precipitous 25% vs. the U.S. dollar overnight.
North Korea and South Korea exchanged rounds of artillery today as tensions escalate in that region.
The earnings calendar is of interest again, with some company reports of note including: Tech Data (TECD), Sears (SHLD), Buckle (BKE), Perry Ellis (PERY), Madison Square Garden (MSG), Gap Stores (GPS), Intuit (INTU), Ross Stores (ROST), Salesforce.com (CRM), Marvell Technology (MRVL), Brocade Communications (BRCD), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).
At 8:30 a.m. the Aug. 15 Initial Jobless Claims report will be released, with consensus at 271,000. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort report is released at 9:45 a.m. At 10 a.m. we'll get the Freddie Mac mortgage rates, July Existing Home Sales with consensus at 5.43 million, and the August Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook. At 10:30 a.m. the EIA natural-gas storage change will hit the market.