* Kohl’s falls after posting drop in net sales
* Monsanto jumps on reports of Bayer mulling bid for company
* Futures up: Dow 78 pts, S&P 12 pts, Nasdaq 22 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Thursday, a day after a rout led by consumer stocks led to the Dow post its biggest one-day drop in three months.
Helping support the early rebound, oil prices were steady after the International Energy Agency said it expects a significant reduction in supplies later this year.
Wall Street dropped on Wednesday as feeble quarterly reports from Walt Disney, Macy’s and Fossil undermined confidence across the consumer sector.
The first retailer report on Thursday did little to assuage concerns. Shares of Kohl’s fell 6.9 percent to $36 premarket after the department store operator reported an unexpected drop in quarterly comparable sales.
The weak reports from retailers come a day ahead of retail sales data for April and in a week where no major economic data was released.
“We’re in this thin period in terms of economic data and the market is basically looking for direction depending on the strength of the economy,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“We are going to be in this risk-on, risk-off mode till we get some direction.”
Dow e-minis were up 78 points, or 0.44 percent, with 31,389 contracts changing hands at 8:35 a.m. ET (1235 GMT).
S&P 500 e-minis were up 12 points, or 0.58 percent, with 228,452 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 21.75 points, or 0.5 percent, on volume of 29,120 contracts.
Investors remain cautious about corporate earnings. First-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies have mostly beaten analysts’ expectations, but are estimated to have fallen 5.4 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The S&P 500 had rallied about 15 percent from its February lows, but that rally had petered out in mid-April, around the time that the quarterly earnings season kicked off.
Investors will also be keeping an eye on a trio of Federal Reserve speakers scheduled to speak later in the day for clues regarding the future path of rate increases by the central bank.
The Fed next meets on June 14-15 and while various policymakers have hinted at two rate hikes this year, traders are pricing in only one due to mixed economic data and underwhelming corporate earnings.
Jack in the Box rose 10.9 percent at $72.26 after the hamburger restaurant chain’s results beat expectations.
Monsanto was up 13.2 percent at $102.48 after Bloomberg reported Germany’s Bayer is exploring a bid for U.S. seed company.
Retailers Nordstrom and Dillard’s are expected to report after the close. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)