U.S. stock futures were building on early gains with an above-consensus 10,000 increase in new unemployment gains offset by the low level of new claims indicating the continued strength in the U.S. jobs market.
Equities were also buoyed by a modest improvement in China's manufacturing sector as well as by Wednesday's rally on Wall Street, driving Asian and European bourses higher.
In addition to initial jobless claims, Thursday's economic data includes the final manufacturing PMI for September, expected to remain unchanged at 53.0, as well as the ISM manufacturing index, expected to show a slight decline to 50.5 from 51.1 in August. Also, August construction spending should increase 0.6%.
Car makers will also report vehicle sales in September which are forecast at 17.5 million units versus 17.8 million units in August.
-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.26%
-S&P 500 futures up 0.17%
-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.28%
Nikkei up 1.92%
Hang Seng up 1.41%
Shanghai Composite up 0.48%
FTSE-100 up 0.88%
DAX-30 down 0.43%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(+) Large cap tech: Higher
(+) Chip stocks: Higher
(+) Software stocks: Higher
(+) Hardware stocks: Higher
(+/-) Internet stocks: Mixed
(+) Drug stocks: Higher
(+/-) Financial stocks: Mixed
(+/-) Retail stocks: Flat
(+) Industrial stocks: Higher
(-) Airlines: Lower
(+/-) Autos: Mixed
(+) XOMA (+52.99%) Announced a development and commercialization agreement with Novartis ( NVS ) for anti-transforming growth factor-beta antibody program
(+) SRPT (+13.83%) Reported positive eteplirsen data
(+) SGYP (+7.92%) Initiated coverage at HC Wainwright with buy rating and $20 price target
(-) MKC (-2.66%) Reported weaker-than-expected Q3 earnings
(-) ILMN (-2.74%) Leerink Swan downgraded to market perform from outperform, PT lowered 18% to $185
(-) HEAR (-11.52%) Giving back Wednesday's gains tied to Beltone New England partnership
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