Futures Push Higher

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futures push higher

On Thursday, Wall Street was primed for a higher open as investors preferred stocks over bonds for the fifth day in a row.

At 6:49 a.m. EST, Dow e-minis were up 224 points, or more than 1 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 12.5 points and Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 37.75 points.

In premarket trading, Dow component’s Cisco climbed almost 8 percent after the company posted upbeat results as well as a forecast.  Fellow component Apple increased 1 percent following Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway move of making its top investment by raising its stake in the company.

Wednesday’s stronger-than-expected consumer prices data for last month initially strengthened concerns of rising inflation that would result in faster interest rate hikes, adding to the fears initiated by a strong U.S. jobs report earlier this month that triggered the sell-off.

Since last Thursday, the S&P 500 has rose 4.56 percent, its strongest four-session performance in nearly two years. Yet, the index is still down about 6 percent from January’s record high.

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The decline in Wall Street’s fear gauge also supported the markets.  The CBOE Volatility index, VIX, closed out Wednesday’s session at 19 points and on Thursday declined even further to 18 points.

Also boosting investors’ confidence is the outlook of the U.S. economy, with support generated from the projected boost of tax cuts on corporate profits.

Another reading on inflation is due at 8:30 a.m. EST. The producer price index for final demand is expected to display a 2.5 percent rise in January, after falling in December for the first time in 1-1/2 years.  Also due is last week’s jobless claims data  as well as industrial production data is scheduled to be released.

Among stocks, TripAdvisor soared nearly 18 percent following the company’s report of better-than-expected quarterly revenue.

CenturyLink shares increased by over 8 percent following the hedge fund Paulson & Co making it known that it took a new position in the company.

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