Wall Street May Close Higher on Upbeat Economic News

By Investors Hub

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Thursday following the lackluster performance seen over the course of the previous session.

Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to some upbeat economic news, including a report from the Labor Department showing initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level in nearly five decades.

Traders may also react positively to the latest batch of earnings news, as the majority of companies continue to report better than expected quarterly results.

Following the sell-off seen during trading on Tuesday, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Wednesday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

The major averages closed on opposite sides of the unchanged line, with the Dow snapping a five-day losing streak. While the Nasdaq edged down 3.61 points or 0.1 percent to 7,003.74, the Dow rose 59.70 points or 0.3 percent to 24,083.83 and the S&P 500 inched up 4.84 points or 0.2 percent to 2,639.40.

The choppy trading on Wall Street reflected uncertainty about the outlook for the markets amid a continued increase in U.S. treasury yields.

The yield on the benchmark ten-year note closed above 3 percent after briefly moving above the key level for the first time since early 2014 in intraday trading on Tuesday.

Concerns rising inflation may lead the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates faster than previously expected have recently pushed yields higher.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make more significant moves amid a lack of major U.S. economic data on the day.

Meanwhile, traders reacted positively to some of the latest earnings news, with aerospace giant Boeing (BA) jumping by 4.2 percent.

Boeing released its first quarter results before the start of trading, reporting better than expected earnings and revenues and raising its full-year guidance.

Shares of Texas Instruments (TXN) also moved sharply higher after chipmaker reported better than expected first quarter results and provided upbeat guidance for the current quarter.

On the other hand, shares of Twitter (TWTR) turned lower over the course of the session even though the social media giant reported first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

Most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets.

Oil service stocks saw considerable strength, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index climbing by 1.5 percent. The index reached its best closing level in well over two months. An increase by the price of crude oil contributed to the strength in the sector.

Natural gas and transportation stocks also saw notable strength on the day, while weakness was visible among biotechnology and gold stocks.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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