Stocks Gain as Fed Maintains Asset Purchases; Jobless Claims Less Than Expected
US stock futures were higher Thursday, extending yesterday's surge in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep buying about $85 billion in assets every month. The Fed had been expected to start weaning markets off the asset purchases - known as quantitative easing - cutting back on purchases by about $10 billion monthly.
Stock markets made sharp gains here and abroad on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement, even as the Fed cut its projection for 2013 economic growth to between 2.0% and 2.3%, down from the June estimate between 2.3% and 2.6%.
Meanwhile, weekly initial jobless claims rose 15,000 to 309,000, less than the consensus estimate of 341,000.
In equities, Oracle ( ORCL ) slipped 0.80% pre-market as its Q2 revenue grew less than the market had expected. Agilent Technologies ( A ) meanwhile added nearly 8% after saying it plans to split in two to better capitalize on the company's assets.
U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS
-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.10%
-S&P 500 futures up 0.27%
-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.25%
-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator up 0.24%
Nikkei up 1.80%
Hang Seng up 1.67%
Shanghai Composite up 0.29%
FTSE-100 up 1.39%
DAX-30 up 1.03%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(+) Large cap tech: higher
(+) Chip stocks: higher
(+) Software stocks: higher
(+) Hardware stocks: higher
(+) Internet stocks: higher
(-) Drug stocks: lower
(+) Financial stocks: higher
(+/-) Retail stocks: unchanged
(+) Industrial stocks: higher
(+/-) Airlines: unchanged
(+) Autos: higher
(+) ACUR (+21.19%) Meth-resistant pseudoephedrine drug gets repeat orders
(+) RAD (+12.13%) Q2 beat views and raised its FY guidance
(+) BMRN (+3.24%) Roche seen buying company for between $95 and $105 per share
(+) TTWO (+4.07%) Grand Theft Auto game sales exceeded $800 million
(-) FSC (-3.42%) Company is selling 15 million shares to repay debt
(-) ROYT (-7.12%) Shareholders plan to sell 13.5 million, or 40%, of shares