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Futures Pointing To Mixed Open On Wall Street

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Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, the major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open for the markets on Thursday. While the Dow futures are up by 129 points, the Nasdaq 100 futures are down by 22 points.

Stocks may move in opposite directions as traders continue to digest Wednesday's monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed's statement noted progress has been made towards the central bank's maximum employment and price stability goals, although Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted there is still "some ground to cover on the labor market side."

Traders are also reacting to a report from the Commerce Department showing the pace of U.S. economic growth fell short of economist estimates in the second quarter of 2021.

The Commerce Department said real GDP surged up by 6.5 percent in the second quarter following a 6.3 percent jump in the first quarter. Economists had expected GDP to spike by 8.5 percent.

The GDP growth in the second quarter reflected increases in consumer spending, non-residential fixed investment, exports, and state and local government spending.

However, decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, and federal government spending limited the upside along with an increase in imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest pullback in initial jobless claims in the week ended July 24th.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 400,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised level of 424,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 380,000 from the 419,000 originally reported for the previous week.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Wednesday after a somewhat volatile session, as investors reacted to a slew of corporate earnings updates and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

Technology stocks advanced on strong results from Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT), while the components of the Dow and the S&P 500 failed to find any significant support.

The tech-laden Nasdaq surged higher and settled at 14,762.58, gaining 102.01 points or 0.7 percent. The Dow ended down by 127.59 points or 0.4 percent at 34,930.93, while the S&P 500 edged down 0.82 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,400.64.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.5 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.7 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.9 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.23 to $72.62 a barrel after climbing $0.74 to $72.39 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after edging down $0.10 to $1,799.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are jumping $26.20 to $1,825.90 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.72 yen versus the 109.91 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1879 compared to yesterday's $1.1845.

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