After ending the previous session mixed, stocks are likely to show a strong move to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a sharply higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 144 points.
The strong upward momentum for the markets is partly due to a positive reaction to comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who promised to do what is need to support to beleaguered eurozone.
"Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," Draghi said at an investment conference in London. "And believe me, it will be enough."
Positive sentiment has also been generated by some relatively upbeat economic data, including a report from the Labor Department showing a sharp drop in initial jobless claims.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed a much bigger than expected increase in durable goods orders in the month of June, although the increase was largely due to a jump in orders in the volatile transportation sector.
Traders are also digesting the latest batch of earnings news, with oil giant Exxon Mobil (XOM) reporting strong second quarter profit growth due in large part to one-time gains.
Sprint Nextel (S), 3M (MMM), Dow Chemical (DOW), and Hershey (HSY) are among the other well-known companies that have released their quarterly results.
by RTT Staff Writer
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