The Dow and S&P 500 are now negative for August following a Wednesday selloff, with the Dow suffering its biggest one-day drop since August 28. CNBC's Bob Pisani has pointed out that the drop has occurred amid extremely low volume, but nonetheless the Dow now sits at its lowest in over a month.
Investors have a slew of economic reports to contend with this morning, starting with initial jobless claims and the Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m. ET. First time claims for jobless benefits are expected to remain unchanged at 333,000 for the week ending August 10, while economists are looking for a 0.2 percent rise in consumer prices for July, following a 0.5 percent increase in June. The ex-food and energy rate for July is also seen rising 0.2 percent.
At 9:15 a.m. ET, the Federal Reserve releases July industrial production and capacity utilization figures, with consensus forecasts calling for a 0.3 percent rise in production and capacity utilization of 77.9 percent.
At 10 a.m. ET, the Philadelphia Fed Index should come in at 15.0 for August, according to economists, down from July's 19.8. At the same time, the National Association of Home Builders issues its monthly sentiment index, seen coming in at 57 for August, unchanged from July.
At 10:30 a.m. ET, the Energy Department will be out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories.
Dow component Wal-Mart (WMT) leads this morning's list of corporate earnings, with fellow retailer Kohl's (KSS), Estee Lauder (EL), and drug maker Perrigo (PRGO) also out with quarterly numbers. Dell (DELL) has moved up its quarterly report to this afternoon, after the closing bell, when Applied Materials (AMAT) and Nordstrom (JWN) will also report.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) leads our list of stocks to watch, with the maker of networking equipment issuing a weak current quarter forecast and announcing 4,000 job cuts. That's pressured the stock despite a fiscal fourth quarter profit of 52 cents per share, which beat Street estimates by a penny. Cisco's revenue forecast for the quarter is near the low end of forecasts as its customers remain cautious about technology spending.
NetApp (NTAP) reported fiscal first quarter profit of 53 cents per share, excluding certain items, four cents above estimates, but investors are focusing on a current quarter forecast that falls largely below analyst forecasts. Analysts are concerned that the maker of data storage equipment may not see the usual pickup in government spending that's typical as the end of the government's fiscal year approaches.
Agilent Technologies (A) earned 68 cents per share for its third quarter, six cents above estimates. The maker of testing equipment also predicted current quarter revenue that's below Street forecasts, but did raise the lower end of its earnings guidance for the full fiscal year.
Weyerhaeuser (WY) increased its dividend by 10 percent, effective with the dividend payable on September 13 to shareholders of record on August 30. The forest products company's payout goes to 22 cents per share from 20 cents.
Talks between Apple (AAPL) and China Mobile are progressing smoothly, according to China Mobile's chairman, and both sides are optimistic about a possible agreement between Apple and the world's largest mobile phone carrier. China Mobile does not yet offer Apple's iPhone.
Dillard's (DDS) reported second quarter profit of 79 cents per share, beating estimates by five cents. The retailer's revenue was short of consensus, but Dillard's did cut expenses and increase its profit margins.