U.S. stock futures edged lower Thursday ahead of the release of a slate of economic data that could show the second consecutive drop in retail sales.

What’s happening

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
YM00,
-0.08%

slipped 13 points, a fractional drop , to 34,690

Futures on the S&P 500
ES00,
-0.13%

slipped 3 points, or 0.1%, to 4,469

Futures on the Nasdaq 100
NQ00,
-0.24%

weakened 26 points, or 0.2%, to 15,471

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.68%

rose 236.82 points, or 0.68% to 34814.39, the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.85%

increased 37.65 points, or 0.85% to 4480.70, and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.82%

gained 123.77 points, or 0.82% to 15161.53.

What’s driving markets

There’s a big slate of economic data due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, including the retail sales report, which is expected to show a 0.7% decline for August, after a 1.1% drop in July.

Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, said the report does a better job of capturing goods spending than services. “The consumer is in very fine shape from a balance sheet perspective; thus, they have the means to drive spending,” he said.

Weekly jobless claims, and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, also are slated for release.

The debate over the need for booster shots continues, with the Food and Drug Administration saying the currently administered vaccines provide sufficient protection against severe disease and death, while vaccine maker Moderna
MRNA,
+1.58%

says effectiveness wanes over time.

The rise in European gas prices is starting to be felt, with CF Industries
CF,
+5.03%

saying it will have to shutter its two U.K. plants while natural-gas prices are high.

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