U.S. Stocks May Move Back To The Upside In Early Trading

Following the modest pullback seen over the two previous sessions, stocks may move back to the 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 77 points.

A report from the Labor Department showing bigger than expected decreases in U.S. import and export prices may add to recent optimism that tame inflation will lead the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in the near future.

The Labor Department said import prices fell by 0.3 percent in May following a revised 0.1 percent uptick in April.

Economists had expected imports prices to dip by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.2 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Additionally, the report said export prices edged down by 0.2 percent in May after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in April.

Export prices had been expected to slip by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.2 percent growth originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged higher in the week ended June 8th.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 222,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 219,000.

The uptick came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 216,000 from the 218,000 originally reported for the previous week.

After helping to lead the markets lower in the previous sessions, energy stocks may rebound along with the price of crude oil.

Crude for July delivery is jumping by more than $2 a barrel amid reports of a possible terrorist attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the Iranian coastline.

Stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Wednesday before ending the session modestly lower. The major averages added to the slim losses posted on Tuesday, although selling pressure remained subdued.

After snapping a six-day winning streak on Tuesday, the Dow edged down 43.68 points or 0.2 percent to 26,004.83. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 29.85 points or 0.4 percent to 7,792.72 and the S&P 500 dipped 5.88 points or 0.2 percent to 2,879.84.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, European stocks have moved mostly higher on the day. While the German DAX Index has climbed by 0.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is just above the unchanged line.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are surging up $2.03 to $53.17 a barrel after plunging $2.13 to $51.14 a barrel a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,339.60, up $2.80 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,336.80. On Wednesday, gold rose $5.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 108.47 yen compared to the 108.50 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1275 compared to yesterday’s $1.1287.

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