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U.S. Stocks Likely To See Initial Strength On Upbeat Earnings News

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After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks are likely to see further 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 292 points.

Early buying interest is likely to be generated in reaction to a batch of upbeat earnings news from several big-name financial companies.

Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are moving notably higher in pre-market trading after the financial giant reported third quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Investment giant Morgan Stanley (MS) is also likely to see initial strength after reporting better than expected third quarter results.

Shares of Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) may also move to the upside after the financial giants reported third quarter earnings that exceeded expectations.

Adding to the positive sentiment on Wall Street, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped below 300,000 for the first time in well over a year in the week ended October 9th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 293,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week's revised level of 329,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 319,000 from the 326,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.

The Labor Department also released a separate report showing U.S. producer prices increased by slightly less than expected in the month of September.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand rose by 0.5 percent in September after climbing by 0.7 percent in August. Economists had been expecting producer prices to increase by 0.6 percent.

Core producer prices, which exclude prices for food, energy and trade services, inched up by 0.1 percent in September after rising by 0.3 percent in August. Core prices were expected to climb by 0.4 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices surged by 8.6 percent in September compared to an 8.3 percent spike in August.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of growth in core producer prices slowed to 5.9 percent in September from 6.3 percent in August.

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday before ending the day mostly higher. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 moved to the upside on the day, although the narrower Dow closed nearly unchanged.

While the Dow edged down 0.53 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 34,377.81, the Nasdaq climbed 105.71 points or 0.7 percent to 14,571.64 and the S&P 500 rose 13.15 points or 0.3 percent to 4,363.80. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 snapped three-session losing streaks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.5 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has advanced by 0.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 1.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $0.95 to $81.39 a barrel after slipping $0.20 to $80.44 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after spiking $35.40 to $1,794.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $4.40 to $1,799.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.46 yen versus the 113.25 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1604 compared to yesterday's $1.1594.

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