Futures edge higher; S&P flirting with record high
(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures ticked higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 aiming at a fresh record, as the second-quarter earnings season winds down on a strong note.
Futures implied the benchmark index would open at 2,859.95, about 13 points away from the record, which it last hit in late January.
A strong earnings season has kept up the momentum in the markets, helping cushion major blows from trade-related issues.
Of the 440 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 78.6 percent have beaten analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks were higher in premarket trading, tracking a rebound in Shanghai stocks.
JD.com (O:JD) rose 0.4 percent and Baidu (O:BIDU) 0.8 percent.
Among other movers, Century Link (N:CTL) jumped 4.4 percent after reporting quarterly results.
Twenty-First Century Fox (O:FOXA) climbed 0.2 percent after its quarterly profit and revenue topped estimates, helped by the popularity of superhero movie "Deadpool 2".
Rite Aid (N:RAD) fell 10.9 percent and was the most heavily traded stock after the drug store chain and U.S. grocer Albertsons Cos (N:ABS) agreed to terminate their merger agreement.
Perrigo (N:PRGO) fell 8.3 percent after its board approved a plan to separate its Prescription Pharmaceuticals business and after the generic drugmaker reported quarterly results.
At 7:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis (1YMc1) were down 1 points, or -0 percent. S&P 500 e-minis (ESc1) were up 1.75 points, or 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis (NQc1) were up 4 points, or 0.05 percent.
Investors are also eyeing inflation numbers to gauge the impact of tariffs on pricing and for clues on the path of interest rate hikes.
A U.S. Labor Department report is expected to show producer price index for final demand rose 0.2 percent for July from 0.3 percent in June. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.