Stock market live news updates: Stock futures flat as retail remains in focus

U.S. stock futures were higher, but little-changed early Thursday, with all three index futures up around 0.1% about two hours before the opening bell on Wall Street.

Near 7:30 a.m. ET, S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq futures were each up 0.1%.

On Wednesday, all three indexes posted losses with the Nasdaq falling more than 1% as recent market momentum stalled out.

Traders have been eyeing the 200-day moving average on the S&P 500, a level the index reached on Tuesday and has since traded below, suggesting the market’s long-term trend remains in control.

WTI crude oil futures, which on Tuesday notched the lowest settlement since January 25, were up about 0.9% early Thursday to trade just below $89 a barrel.

The retail sector remains in focus on Thursday, with results from Kohl’s (KSS) before the opening bell disappointing to the downside, sending shares of the retailer down more than 7%.

Kohl’s slashed its full-year forecast, saying it expects sales will fall 5%-6% after having previously expected a modest increase in sales this year. Full-year earnings per share are now expected to be between $2.80-$3.20; the company had previously expected earnings per share in a range of $6.45-$6.85.

The Kohl’s label is seen on a shopping cart in a Kohl’s department store in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Elsewhere in retail, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) remain a fascination for investors with shares off as much as 13% in pre-market trading after an SEC filing on Wednesday revealed Ryan Cohen has filed to sell his entire stake in the retailer.

Cohen’s RC Ventures, which owns an 11.8% stake in retailer, revealed plans to unload the stake in a Form 144 filed with the SEC on Tuesday; as of the filing date, Cohen had not sold any shares. Cohen first revealed his position in Bed Bath & Beyond in March.

In a statement on Thursday, Bed Bath & Beyond said: “We were pleased to have reached a constructive agreement with RC Ventures in March and are committed to maximizing value for all shareholders. We are continuing to execute on our priorities to enhance liquidity, make strategic changes and improve operations to win back customers, and drive cost efficiencies; all to restore our company to its heritage as the best destination for the home, for all stakeholders. Specifically, we have been working expeditiously over the past several weeks with external financial advisors and lenders on strengthening our balance sheet, and the Company will provide more information in an update at the end of this month.”

In another oddity related to this saga, the Financial Times late Wednesday reported a 20-year-old college student from New Jersey cashed in $110 million during Bed Bath & Beyond’s recent rally. Jake Freeman told the FT he raised $25 million from friends and family, put it all on Bed Bath & Beyond, sent the company a letter demanding it fix its capital structure, and then cashed out.

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