U.S. Stocks May See Initial Strength On Upbeat Earnings News

After ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.3 percent.

The markets may benefit from a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news, including strong results from chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA).

Shares of Nvidia are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after the company reported better than expected third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.

Retailers Macy’s (M) and Kohl’s (KSS) are also likely to move to the upside after reporting quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates.

On the other hand, shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO) may come under pressure after the networking giant reported better than expected fiscal first quarter earnings but provided disappointing guidance.

Early trading may also be impacted by reaction to a report from the Labor Department showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were nearly unchanged in the week ended November 13th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 268,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 269,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 260,000 from the 267,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the slight decrease and the revision to the previous week’s number, jobless claims once again hit their lowest level since the week ended March 14, 2020.

A separate report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of October. The leading economic index is expected to climb by 0.8 percent.

Stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Wednesday, giving back ground after ending Tuesday’s trading mostly higher. Selling pressure was somewhat subdued, however, limiting the downside for the major averages.

The major averages fluctuated over the course of the session but closed in negative territory. The Dow slid 211.17 points or 0.6 percent to 35,931.05, the Nasdaq fell 52.28 points or 0.3 percent to 15,921.57 and the S&P 500 dipped 12.23 points or 0.3 percent to 4,688.67.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slipped by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a lackluster performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are little changed.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.19 to $78.55 a barrel after plunging $2.40 to $78.36 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after climbing $16.10 to $1,870.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $2.90 to $1,867.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 114.28 yen versus the 114.08 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1340 compared to yesterday’s $1.1319.

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