US stocks were set to open in positive territory on Thursday as traders watched the tech sector stage a minor recovery from this week's dismal performance.
Oil prices nudged lower with global benchmark Brent Crude down 0.37%, while US crude West Texas Intermediate was down 0.14% recently as the rising crude stockpiles in the US have put a lid on gains brought by optimism from the OPEC-led production cuts.
Data released at 8:30 am showed new unemployment claims came in at 215,000 in the March 24 week, as compared to estimates for 228,000 and prior week's revised level of 227,000. Personal income, consumer spending and the PCE price index all posted gains in line with expectations of 0.4%, 02% and 0.2%, respectively, for February, according to data compiled by Econoday.
At 9:45 am, forecasters see the Chicago PMI business barometer index at a consensus of 62.8 for March as compared to prior level of 61.9.
At 10 am, the final March reading for consumer sentiment index is expected to hold steady at 102.0.
Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker is scheduled to speak.
In equities, shares of American Electric Technologies ( AETI ) were 12.5% higher pre-bell after the company reported year-on-year improvements in financial results for 2017.
U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS
-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.37%
-S&P 500 futures up 0.41%
-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.78%
-Nasdaq 100 pre-market indicator up 0.38%
Nikkei up 0.61%
Hang Seng up 0.24%
Shanghai Composite up 1.22%
FTSE-100 up 0.31%
DAX-30 up 0.93%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(+) Large cap tech: unchanged to higher
(+) Chip stocks: unchanged to higher
(+) Software stocks: higher
(+) Hardware stocks: unchanged to higher
(+) Internet stocks: unchanged to higher
(+) Oil stocks: unchanged to higher
(+) Biotech stocks: unchanged to higher
(+/-) Drug stocks: mixed
(+) Financial stocks: higher
(+/-) Retail stocks: mixed
(+) Industrial stocks: unchanged to higher
(-) Airlines: unchanged to lower
(+) Autos: unchanged to higher
(+) OSTK (+6.6%) Files US Supreme Court brief in South Dakota vs Wayfair state tax case
(+) TITN (+6.3%) Q4 results beat estimates
(-) PULM (-28.8%) To raise $15.2 million in offering of stock, warrants
(-) GME (-5.3%) Tops Q4 estimates
(-) HRTX (-3.3%) Prices stock offering at 5.5% discount