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Wall Street Set To Open Moderately High

The Weekly Jobless Claims, Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity, and Existing Home Sales are the major economic announcements on Thursday.

Cisco Systems will report its quarterly earnings after the close of trading today.

The U.S. gas prices are surging and have touched a 14-year high.

Early signs from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open positive.

Asian shares finished broadly lower, while European shares are trading higher.

As of 7.40 am ET, the Dow futures were up 36.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 6.25 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were progressing 23.00 points.

The U.S. major averages closed higher on Wednesday. The Dow fell 171.69 points or 0.5 percent to 33,98.32, the Nasdaq slumped 164.43 points or 1.3 percent to 12,938.12 and the S&P 500 slid 31.16 points or 0.7 percent at 4,274.04.

On the economic front, the Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week is expected at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is 265K, while it was up 262K in the prior week.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index for August will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for a negative 5.0, while it was negative 12.3 in July.

National Association of Realtors Existing Home Sales for July will be published at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is 4.85 million, while it was up 5.12 million in the prior month.

The Conference Board's Leading Indicators for July is scheduled at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for a decline of 0.5 percent, while it was down 0.8 percent in June.

The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Natural Gas Report for the week is expected at 10.30 am ET. In the prior week, the gas stock was 44 bcf.

The Fed Balance Sheet for the week will be issued at 4.30 pm ET. In the prior week, the level was at $8.879 trillion.

Asian stocks ended lower on Thursday. China's Shanghai Composite index closed 0.46 percent lower at 3,277.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.80 percent to settle at 19,763.91.

Japanese stocks tumbled. The Nikkei average lost 0.96 percent to close at 28,942.14, while the broader Topix index ended 0.82 percent lower at 1,990.50.

Australian markets ended slightly lower.

The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.21 percent to 7,112.80 while the broader All Ordinaires index closed 0.32 percent lower at 7,357.70.

European shares are trading higher. CAC 40 of France is progressing 23.92 points or 0.37 percent. DAX of Germany is declining 92.70 points or 0.68 percent. FTSE 100 of England is progressing 4.81 points or 0.07 percent. Swiss Market Index is up 54.80 points or 0.49 percent.

Euro Stoxx 50 which provides a Blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in the Eurozone, is up 0.33 percent.

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