After yesterday's dithery performance, Wall Street stocks continue to sport a nervous look on Thursday. Although optimism renewed after the release of a report showing a further cool off in Chinese inflation, which has left the door wide open for further policy easing and stimulus, growth indicators from across the globe have been bothersome. Earnings news has been in line with the second quarter trend of weak revenues and strong bottom line performance. The weekly jobless claims report due before the markets open may give further clarity to traders.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are gaining 17 points, the S&P 500 futures are adding 0.60 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 5.75 points.
U.S. stocks went about in a lackluster manner on Wednesday amid a lack of any significant catalysts.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended August 4th at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to edge up to 367,000 in the recent reporting week from 365,000 in the previous week.
The trade gap data for June is also due out at 8:30 am ET. Economists estimate that the trade gap narrowed to $47.5 billion in the month from a deficit of $48.7 billion in the previous month.
The Commerce Department is due to release its wholesale inventories report at 10 am ET. Economists expect wholesale inventories at the end of June to show a 0.3 percent increase, the same pace of increase as in May.
In corporate news, News Corp. (NWSA) reported second quarter adjusted earnings that came in line with estimates, while revenues were slightly below estimates.
D&B (DNB) reported second quarter earnings that exceeded estimates, while its revenues trailed expectations. The company reaffirmed its guidance for 2012.
SunPower's (SPWR) second quarter results trailed estimates. Meanwhile, the company's 2012 revenue guidance surrounded the consensus estimate. Dillard's (DDS) reported higher profits and sales for its second quarter.
MBIA (MBI) reported more than four-fold increase in profit for the second quarter, helped by more than $1 billion in pre-tax gains tied to insured credit derivatives. On an adjusted basis, the company reported a pre-tax loss for the quarter.
Amgen (AMGN) said it has decided to terminate the Phase III trial of its pancreatic cancer treatment ganitumab following the recommendation by an independent Data Monitoring Committee.
Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX) reported second quarter earnings that trailed estimates, while its revenues exceeded estimates. The company raised its full year earnings guidance.
CenturyLink's (CTL) second quarter results were ahead of estimates, while its guidance was also positive.
Brooks Automation (BRKS), Emulex (ELX), Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF), Nordstrom (JWN) and Nvidia (NVDA) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the markets close.
The major Asian markets ended mostly higher, as soft Chinese inflation data strengthened stimulus hopes and offset the negative sentiment generated by the lackluster performance of Wall Street stocks overnight.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed up 97.44 points or 1.10 percent at 8,979. Australia's All Ordinaries, which remained above the unchanged line for the bulk of the session, retreated in the final few minutes of trading, ending down 2.80 points or 0.06 percent at 4,330.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index hovered in positive territory throughout the session and closed up 203.95 points or 1.02 percent at 20,270.
Following the conclusion of its 2-day monetary policy meeting, the Bank of Japan's monetary policy board announced its decision to keep interest rates unchanged at 0-0.1 percent. The decision was in line with expectations. The stimulus program was also maintained at 70 trillion yen.
Meanwhile, lending some credence to stimulus expectations, Chinese annual consumer price inflation eased to 1.8 percent in July from 2.2 percent in June. Economists had expected an inflation rate of 1.7 percent.
European stocks are seeing volatility as traders continue to take profits, as the major averages in the region trader close to multi-month highs.
In corporate news, Deutsche Telekom reported higher second quarter profits, which exceeded estimates by most analysts, helped by strong performance of its U.S. business. Swiss food company Nestle reported first half organic sales growth of 6.6 percent and profit growth of 8.9 percent, while it also affirmed its full year underlying sales growth of 5-6 percent. Re-insurer Swiss Re reported an unexpected increase in its second quarter profit.
U.K.'s trade deficit widened in June, according to a report released by the U.K. Office for National Statistics.
by RTT Staff Writer
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