Wall Street Aims To Open Broadly Up

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Reactions to the Fed decision, major economic announcements, and quarterly results from important corporates will be the highlights on Thursday.

UK interest rates were raised by half a percentage point to 4 percent by the Bank of England on Thursday. This is the highest base rate in the last 14 years.

In a renewed offensive move, Russia attacked the eastern region of Ukraine, especially the Kramatorsk city region. On Wednesday missile attacks killed at least three people.

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

As of 7.20 am ET, the Dow futures were down 128.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 17.25 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were progressing 166.25 points.

The U.S. major averages finished in positive territory on Wednesday. The Dow inched up 6.92 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 34,092.96. The Nasdaq surged 231.77 points or 2.0 percent to 11,816.32, while the S&P 500 jumped 42.61 points or 1.1 percent to 4,119.21.

On the economic front, the Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week is scheduled at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is 193k, while it was up 186K in the prior week.

The Labor Department's Productivity and Costs for the fourth quarter will be published at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is up 2.4 percent, while it was up 0.8 percent in the prior quarter.

Factory Orders for December will be issued at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is up 2.2 percent, while it was down 1.8 percent in the previous month.

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 down 91 bcf.

The Fed Balance Sheet for the week is scheduled at 4.30 pm ET. In the prior week, the level was at $8.47 trillion.

Asian shares were slightly up at the closing on Thursday.

Chinese shares ended little changed. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index finished marginally higher at 3,285.67. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.52 percent to 21,958.36.

Japanese shares ended a tad higher. The Nikkei average inched up 0.20 percent to 27,402.05. The broader Topix index ended 0.36 percent lower at 1,965.17.

Australian markets rose slightly. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.13 percent to 7,511.60 and the broader All Ordinaries index closed 0.24 percent higher at 7,728.50.

European shares are trading mostly higher. CAC 40 of France is progressing 14.97 points or 0.21 percent. DAX of Germany is adding 189.83 points or 1.21 percent. FTSE 100 of England is gaining 38.58 points or 0.50 percent. The Swiss Market Index is down 24.93 points or 0.22 percent.

Euro Stoxx 50 which provides a Blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in the Eurozone, is up 0.74 percent.

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