Wall Street Set To Open Broadly Higher

The U.S. reported a total death toll of more than 100,000 since it reported the first confirmed case of coronavirus infection on January 21. The unimaginable number of deaths and the impact on the economy are really worrying investors. Total infections worldwide increased to more than 5.72 million.

Asian shares finished mixed while European shares are trading higher.
Early signs from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open broadly higher.

As of 8.10 am ET, the Dow futures were adding 140.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were up 2.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were declining 77.75 points.

The U.S. major indices finished higher on Wednesday. The Dow surged up 553.16 points or 2.2 percent to 25,548.27, the Nasdaq climbed 72.14 points or 0.8 percent to 9,412.36 and the S&P 500 jumped 44.36 points or 1.5 percent to 3,036.13.

On the economic front, Durable Goods Orders for April will be issued at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for a decline of 18.2 percent, while it was down 14.4 percent in the prior month.

Gross Domestic Product or GDP for the first quarter will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for a 4.8 percent decline, in line with the decline in the prior month.

Jobless Claims for the week is expected at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for an increase of 2100K, while it was up 2438K in the prior week.

Pending Home Sales Index for April will be issued at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for a decline of 15 percent, lower than the decline of 20.8 percent in the prior month.

The Energy Information Administration or EIA’s Natural Gas Report for the week will be released at 10.30 am ET. In the prior week, change was 81 bcf.

Fed Balance Sheet for the week is scheduled at 4.30 pm ET. In the previous week, the level was at $7.037 trillion.

The Fed Money Supply for the week will be released at 4.30 pm ET. The M2 weekly change was $225.4 billion.

Discount store chain Dollar Tree, Inc. reported profit for the quarter that declined from last year. Both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly net sales topped analysts’ expectations. Further, the company did not issuing its updated guidance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first quarter, net income declined to $247.6 million or $1.04 per share from $267.9 million or $1.12 per share in the prior-year quarter.
Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter was $1.04 per share, compared to $1.14 per share last year.

Consolidated net sales for the quarter increased 8.2 percent to $6.23 billion from $5.81 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts expected revenues of $6.11 billion for the quarter.
Asian stocks turned in mostly higher on Thursday. China’s Shanghai Composite index edged up 0.33 percent to 2,846.22, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended down 0.72 percent at 23,132.76.

Japanese shares extended gains to close at a fresh three-month high. The Nikkei average jumped 497.08 points, or 2.32 percent, to 21,916.31. The broader Topix index closed 1.80 percent higher at 1,577.34, the highest since Feb. 26.

Australian markets rallied after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said an economic recovery by spring was possible, following an easing of coronavirus trading restrictions.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 76.10 points, or 1.32 percent, to 5,851.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 72.90 points, or 1.24 percent, at 5,957.80.

European shares are trading higher. Among the major indexes in the region, the CAC 40 Index of France is adding 44.99 points or 0.96 percent. The German DAX is gaining 53.72 points or 0.46 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is up 65.95 points or 1.07 percent.

The Swiss Market Index is gaining 163.97 points or 1.69 percent.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is up 0.72 percent.

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