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Wall Street Aims To Open Moderately Up

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Reaction to the Weekly Jobless Claims data as well as to a report on Chicago-area business activity might be the highlight on Thursday.

Asian shares finished mixed, while European shares are trading up.
The initial trend on the U.S. Futures Index suggests that Wall Street might open moderately higher.

As of 7.10 am ET, the Dow futures were up 44.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 9.00 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were progressing 42.00 points.

The major U.S. stock indexes turned in another mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. The Dow rose 90.42 points or 0.3 percent to 36,488.63, closing high for the sixth consecutive session. The S&P 500 also inched up 6.71 points or 0.1 percent to 4,793.06, while the Nasdaq climbed well off its worst levels but still closed down 15.51 points or 0.1 percent at 15,766.22.

On the economic front, the Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week will be published at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for 205K, while it was up 205K in the previous month.

Market News International's Chicago PMI for December will be issued at 9.45 am ET. The consensus is for 62.0, while it was up 61.8 in the previous month.

The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Natural Gas Report for the week is scheduled at 10.30 am ET. In the prior week, the gas stock was down 55 bcf.

The Baker Hughes Rig Count for the week will be released at 1.00 pm ET. In the prior week, the North America Rig Count was 719 and the U.S. rig count was 586.

The Agriculture Department's Farm Prices for November will be published at 3.00 pm ET. In the prior month, the farm prices were down 1.7 percent.

The Fed Balance Sheet for the week is expected at 4.30 pm ET. In the prior week, the level was at $8.790 trillion.

Asian stocks ended Thursday's session on a mixed note. Chinese shares advanced. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 22.19 points, or 0.62 percent, to 3,619.19. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended flat.

Japanese shares ended lower after the country logged over 500 daily Covid-19 cases on Wednesday. The Nikkei average dropped 115.17 points, or 0.40 percent, to 28,791.71. The broader Topix index closed 0.33 percent lower at 1,992.33.

Australian markets rose for a sixth straight session. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index finished marginally higher at 7,513.40, marking its highest close since Sept. 7. The broader All Ordinaries index inched up 3.40 points to close at 7,843.70.

European shares are trading higher. Among the major indexes in the region, the CAC 40 Index of France is progressing 25.35 points or 0.35 percent. The German DAX is adding 24.66 points or 0.15 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is gaining 5.84 points or 0.08 percent.

The Swiss Market Index is adding 26.75 points or 0.21 percent.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is up 0.50 percent.

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