Futures rose slightly Sunday evening after one counter-protestor was killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, with two police officers also dying in a helicopter crash connected to the event.
Dow futures rose 26 points, to 27,874, while the S&P ticked up 4 points, to 2,444, and the Nasdaq rose 10.25 points, to 5848.5. The dollar fell 0.08% against the pound Sunday evening, rising 0.03% against the euro, while the yen fell 0.07% against the dollar.
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Markets were rattled on Friday with President Trump's tweet asserting that the military is "locked and loaded" to respond if North Korea acts "unwisely." The message followed the president's statement from a working vacation in New Jersey that North Korean aggression would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen," to which North Korea responded by announcing that it's considering a potential missile attack on Guam.
Trump also faced criticism from members of his own party for his failure on Saturday to explicitly denounce the white supremacists who chanted his name.
Exogenous risk like the North Korea threats is "what investors like the least," Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB) lead economist Bodhi Ganguli said in an interview. "Uncertainty of a kind that you cannot actually predict anything out of it at all."
Still, retail earnings season rolls on, with Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP) - Get Report , Coach Inc. (COH) , Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) - Get Report , Home Depot Inc. (HD) - Get Report , TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) - Get Report and Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) - Get Report reporting on Tuesday, Aug. 15; Victoria's Secret parent L Brands Inc. (LB) - Get Report and Target Corp. (TGT) - Get Report on Wednesday, Aug. 16; Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (BONT) , Buckle Inc. (BKE) - Get Report , Gap Inc. (GPS) - Get Report , Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) - Get Report and Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) - Get Report on Thursday, Aug. 17; and Estee Lauder Cos. (EL) - Get Report on Friday, Aug. 18.
Wednesday also marks the release of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee's July minutes.
"Markets seem optimistic that central bank plans to modestly reduce their support for markets in coming months can be achieved without disruption," Citi analyst Matt King wrote in a bearish note.
"We are not convinced. We find evidence that markets have responded to the flow of QE rather than the stock, and that it has worked globally rather than locally. This implies that even small balance sheet adjustments may create outsized responses in markets-especially when several central banks are adjusting policy simultaneously. We reckon tapering would be less disruptive if market valuations were fair rather than expensive, and if investors did not feel they had been pushed into taking risks beyond those merited by fundamentals. This suggests a potential way out for the central banks: copy the BoJ's shift away from targeting quantity to targeting stability in markets instead. As it is, we expect another tantrum."
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Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer manages as a charitable trust, is long TJX.