US Stocks Poised to Extend Gains as Fed Commits to Maintain Asset Purchases
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 0.47% pre-market as its Q2 revenue grew less than the market had expected. Agilent Technologies ( A ) meanwhile added nearly 11% after saying it plans to split in two to better capitalize on the company's assets.