Following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session, stocks may move to the 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 166 points.
Traders may look to get back into action after taking a breather on Wednesday, when the major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The upward momentum seen earlier the week seems likely to pick back up and could lift the S&P 500 to a new record intraday high.
After a brief setback last week, optimism that the Federal Reserve will not prematurely begin tightening monetary policy seems to have led to renewed buying interest.
Positive sentiment may also be generated in reaction to a Labor Department report showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended June 19th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 411,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 418,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 380,000 from the 412,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods rebounded in the month of May.
The report said durable goods orders surged up by 2.3 percent in May after falling by a revised 0.8 percent in April.
Economists had expected durable goods orders to spike by 2.7 percent compared to the 1.3 percent slump that had been reported for the previous month.
Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.3 percent in May after jumping by 1.7 percent in April. Ex-transportation orders were expected to increase by 0.7 percent.
Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Wednesday before eventually ending the session little changed. Despite the choppy trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up to a new record closing high.
The major averages finished the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq crept up 18.47 points or 0.1 percent to 14,271.73, the Dow slipped 71.34 points or 0.2 percent to 33,874.24 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.60 points or 0.1 percent to 4,241.84.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index and China’s Shanghai Composite Index both ended the day nearly flat.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.49 to $72.59 a barrel after rising $0.23 to $73.08 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after climbing $6 to $1,783.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $1.40 to $1,784.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.72 yen versus the 110.96 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1948 compared to yesterday’s $1.1926.
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