US Futures Flat After Downbeat European Data; US Economic Data On Tap
US stock futures were practically unchanged Thursday in a shortened trading week as traders stayed on the sidelines after the release of downbeat European data while keeping an eye on a string of readings on the US economy and more corporate earnings.
The US stock market and the bond market will be closed on April 19, in observance of the Good Friday holiday.
On Thursday, S&P 500 futures were up 0.1%. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq-100 were each up 0.01%.
Oil prices nudged higher, with global benchmark Brent crude up 0.25% and US West Texas Intermediate crude up 0.28%, lifted by ongoing supply cuts by major producers and US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.
At 8:30 am, data are expected to show new unemployment claims coming in at 206,000 for the April 13 week vs 196,000 in the previous week. The General Business Conditions index based on the Philadelphia Fed survey is expected to come in at 10.2 for April against 13.7 in March. Forecasters see an increase of 0.8% in retail sales for March vs a 0.2% dip in February, according to data compiled by Econoday.
At 10 am, economists call for a slowing build of 0.3% for February following back-to-back builds of 0.8%. The index of leading economic indicators is expected to show a modest 0.3% increase for March vs 0.2% rise in February.
In Europe, activity in Germany's manufacturing sector shrank for a fourth straight month in April, while similar data in France hit a four-year low.
In equities, shares of Soligenix (SNGX) jumped 38.6% pre-bell after the biopharmaceutical company achieved a significant milestone in its phase 3 trial of SGX942 in oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer.
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