Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening with minor gains Thursday, hanging on the previous session’s strong close on optimism of a resolution to the debt ceiling impasse, with earnings from retail giant Walmart (NYSE:WMT) also in the spotlight.
The main indices closed higher Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining over 400 points, or 1.2%, after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, one of the key Republican leaders in Congress, said an agreement was “doable” by this weekend.
President Biden confirmed that he would cut short his trip to Asia this week, principally for the G-7 meeting, to arrive back in Washington on Sunday to help hammer out a deal to lift the country’s $31.4 trillion borrowing limit.
That said, a formal resolution has yet to emerge, and time is running out, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stating that the federal government could run out of money to pay its debts as soon as June 1.
Such an event would likely plunge the U.S. economy into recession and have serious knock-on effects for the global economy.
In the corporate sector, quarterly earnings are due from Walmart, with investors looking to see what the retail giant says about the health of the consumer.
Rivals Target (NYSE:TGT) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD) have already posted their latest figures this week, and both missed Wall Street estimates for sales as high inflation convinced many shoppers to rein in non-essential spending.
The weekly jobless claims data, due later in the session, offer the latest signs of how the labor market is performing, as well as existing home sales for April and the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing survey for May.
The Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs by 25 basis points at its most recent policy meeting, but expectations remain that the U.S. central bank may push pause on its tightening cycle at its next gathering in June.
Oil prices retreated Thursday, handing back some of the previous session’s solid gains with the U.S. dollar trading near a seven-week peak weighing, as it makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Crude prices rallied sharply on Wednesday on optimism over a potential raising of the U.S. debt limit as well as a drop in U.S. gasoline inventories due to demand surging to the highest levels since 2021.