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Market Preview: Look Out Above!

"Investors appear to have frozen up like fainting goats, in response to nervousness over upcoming European and U.S. central bank announcements, the payroll report and potentially market-moving new-product announcements," he said. "Investors have a good idea of the likely outcome, but the lack of clarity keeps them on edge. As a result, the tug-of-war continues between the cautious fundamentalists and more optimistic technicians."

As for Thursday's scheduled news, the earnings calendar features Cherokee (CHKE), Cooper Cos. (COO), Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV), Quicksilver (ZQK), Smith & Wesson (SWHC), and Ulta Salon (ULTA).

Navistar International (NAV - Get Report), the heavy truck and recreational vehicle maker, is also slated to open its books on Thursday, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a loss of $1.36 a share on revenue of $2.96 billion in its fiscal third quarter ended in July.

The stock is down more than 40% so far in 2012, hitting a 52-week low of $19.90 on Tuesday. D.A. Davidson, which has a neutral rating on the shares, will be focused more on details about the strategic plan in the wake of the resignation of longtime CEO Dan Ustian on Aug. 27, rather than the actual numbers.

"Navistar may be facing a tough battle for market share as the company transitions to the new engine strategy," the firm said, adding that it believes the current situation is "too fluid" to expect the company to provide guidance for the fourth quarter.

Wall Street gets a raft of employment data to chew over ahead of Thursday's opening bell, courtesy the Labor Day-shortened trading week. The docket features the August job cuts report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas at 7 a.m. ET; the ADP employment change survey for August at 8:15 a.m. ET; and weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.

By the time the opening bell sounds, the revised opinions about how the government's August jobs report will come in should be trickling out.

The other data releases slated for Thursday are the Institute for Supply Management's services index for August at 10 a.m. ET and weekly crude inventories at 11 a.m. ET.

And finally, Warner Chillcott (WCRX) was a big mover to the downside following Wednesday's closing bell after the Irish drug maker announced a secondary stock offering. The shares were last quoted at $12.76, off 10%, on volume of more than 700,000, according to Nasdaq.com.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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