Futures edge higher but without much conviction
S&P futures vs fair value: +14.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +33.50. The S&P 500 futures are up five points, but relative to fair value, they're trading 14 points, or 0.3%, above that indication. There's some hesitancy among buyers given the S&P 500 has closed lower in six of the past seven sessions amid growth concerns and negative momentum.  Lingering growth concerns today are stemming from China after the country reported retail sales, industrial production, and fixed asset investment data for August that missed expectations. In addition, reports indicated that the government wants to supervise gambling companies in Macao. Las Vegas Sands (LVS 36.80, -1.91, -4.9%) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN 87.13, -5.12, -5.6%), two companies with Macao exposure, are down about 5% in pre-market action on top of yesterday's 10% declines. China's Shanghai Composite declined just 0.2% on Wednesday. Microsoft (MSFT 303.34, +3.55, +1.2%) is providing strong support for the futures market after approving a new $60 billion share repurchase program and raising its dividend by 11%. MSFT shares are up 1.2% ahead of the open. In U.S. data, investors will receive the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September (Briefing.com consensus 18.6) and Import/Export Prices for August at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by Industrial Production (Briefing.com consensus 0.4%) and Capacity Utilization (Briefing.com consensus 76.3%) for August at 9:15 a.m. ET.  The 10-yr yield is down one basis point to 1.27% amid an uptick in demand, while the 2-yr yield remains unchanged at 0.21%. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.2% to 92.48. WTI crude futures are up 1.3% to $71.39/bbl ahead of some inventory data from the EIA. In U.S. Corporate news:Microsoft (MSFT 303.65, +3.86): +1.3% after approving a new $60 billion share repurchase program and raising its dividend by 11%. Wynn Resorts (WYNN 87.13, -5.12): -5.6% amid news of a proposed law change in Macau that could entail supervision of gambling companies, according to Reuters. Pfizer (PFE 44.86, +0.15): +0.3% amid reports that company plans to file emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. in early October for children ages 5-11. Reviewing overnight developments:Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the midweek session on a mostly lower note. Japan's Nikkei: -0.5% Hong Kong's Hang Seng: -1.8% China's Shanghai Composite: -0.2% India's Sensex: +0.8% South Korea's Kospi: +0.2% Australia's ASX All Ordinaries: -0.2%.In economic data:China's August Retail Sales 2.5% yr/yr (expected 7.0%; last 8.5%), August Industrial Production 5.3% yr/yr (expected 5.8%; last 6.4%), August Fixed Asset Investment 8.9% yr/yr (expected 9.0%; last 10.3%), and August House Prices 4.2% yr/yr (last 4.6%)Japan's July Core Machinery Orders 0.9% m/m (expected 3.1%; last -1.5%); 11.1% yr/yr (expected 15.7%; last 18.6%). September Reuters Tankan Index 18 (last 33). June Tertiary Industry Activity Index -0.6% m/m (expected 0.2%; last 2.2%)South Korea's August trade surplus $1.65 bln (last surplus of $1.67 bln). August Imports 44.0% yr/yr (last 44.0%) and Exports 34.8% yr/yr (last 34.9%). August Unemployment Rate 2.8% (last 3.3%)Australia's September Westpac Consumer Sentiment 2.0% (last -4.4%)Singapore's Q2 Unemployment Rate 2.7% (last 2.7%)In news:South Korea's Unemployment Rate fell to a record low of 2.8% in August. Nikkei reported that Japan Securities Dealers Association will review setting IPO price ranges. Hyundai is reportedly suspending production at its factory in Asan again. China's Industrial Production growth slowed to its lowest pace since July 2020 while Retail Sales expanded at their slowest pace in more than a year in August.Major European indices trade on a mostly lower note with Spain's IBEX (-1.1%) showing relative weakness. STOXX Europe 600: -0.3% Germany's DAX: -0.1% U.K.'s FTSE 100: +0.1% France's CAC 40: -0.6% Italy's FTSE MIB: -0.5% Spain's IBEX 35: -1.1%.In economic data:Eurozone's July Industrial Production 1.5% m/m (expected 0.6%; last -0.1%); 7.7% yr/yr (expected 6.3%; last 10.1%). Q2 wages -0.4% yr/yr (last 2.1%)U.K.'s August CPI 0.7% m/m (expected 0.5%; last 0.5%); 3.2% yr/yr (expected 2.9%; last 2.0%). August Core CPI 0.7% m/m (expected 0.4%; last 0.5%); 3.1% yr/yr (expected 2.9%; last 1.9%). August Input PPI 0.4% m/m (expected 0.2%; last 1.3%) and Output PPI 0.7% m/m (expected 0.4%; last 0.8%). August House Price Index 8.0% yr/yr (expected 12.4%; last 13.1%) o France's August CPI 0.6% m/m, as expected (last 0.1%); 1.9% yr/yr, as expected (last 1.2%)Italy's August CPI 0.4% m/m (expected 0.5%; last 0.5%); 2.0% yr/yr (expected 2.1%; last 1.9%)In news:August inflation figures from the U.K. showed CPI rising at its fastest yr/yr pace in nearly a decade. Germany's ifo Institute expects Germany's CPI to reach 3.0% in 2021 and 2.0-2.5% in 2022. Germany's CDU leader Laschet promised no new taxes and a tight budget policy ahead of the election scheduled for September 26.