After ending the previous session sharply higher, stocks may see further upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 237 points.
Stocks may continue to regain ground following the slump seen earlier this month, which dragged the Dow to its lowest closing level in three months on Tuesday.
The upward momentum on Wall Street also comes amid easing concerns about Evergrande after the Chinese property developer reached a settlement with mainland bondholders.
The People’s Bank of China’s infusion of massive capital into the country’s banking system has also eased concerns about a potential default by Evegrande.
The U.S. stock futures remained firmly positive following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased for the second straight week in the week ended September 18th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to 351,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 335,000.
With the uptick, jobless claims climbed further off the pandemic-era low of 312,000 set in the week ended September 4th.
The continued rebound surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to dip to 320,000 from the 332,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Not long after the start of trading, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of August. The leading economic index is expected to climb by 0.6 percent.
Following the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated monetary policy announcement, stocks closed sharply higher during trading on Wednesday. The major averages remained firmly positive on the heels of the Fed announcement after showing a strong move to the upside in morning trading.
The major averages all posted strong gains on the day. The Dow jumped 338.48 points or 1 percent at 34,258.32, the Nasdaq surged up 150.45 points or 1 percent to 14,896.85 and the S&P 500 shot up 41.45 points or 1 percent to 4,395.64.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Thursday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.2 percent.
Most European stocks have also moved to the upside on the day. The German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.8 percent, although the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has bucked the uptrend and edged down by 0.1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.30 to $71.93 a barrel after jumping $1.74 to $72.23 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after inching up $0.60 to $1,778.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are falling $8.30 to $1,770.50 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.94 yen versus the 109.78 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1732 compared to yesterday’s $1.1687.
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