Forex Pros - U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday, rebounding from the previous day's sharp decline, as shares in online travel site Orbitz Worldwide soared ahead of the open, while markets digested weekly data on first-time jobless claims.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a modest gain of 0.1%, the S&P 500 futures added 0.2%, while Nasdaq 100 futures indicated an increase of 0.25%.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of people claiming initial jobless benefits last week fell to 422K, disappointing expectations for a decline to 420K.
Shares in online travel website Orbitz Worldwide soared 44.8% in pre-market trade after a court ruling ordered American Airlines to post and sell flights on the website again.
American pulled its content from Orbitz in December following the latter's refusal to adopt American's new technology that would let consumers price their trips based on factors other than just fares. American Airlines shares dipped 0.4%.
Shares in mining equipment manufacturer Joy Global jumped 3.75% in pre-market trade after it reported a 34% increase in fiscal second quarter net profit. Sales in the quarter rose 19% to USD1.06 billion. The upbeat results prompted the company to lift its full-year earnings outlook.
The largest U.S. warehouse retailer Costco saw shares climb 0.8% after it said same-store sales rose 13% in May. Clothing retailer GAP saw shares drop 1.75% after same-store sales declined 4% last month.
Other retailers could be active as major companies release monthly sales data throughout the day.
Shares in search engine giant Google could be in focus after the company said late Wednesday that "hundreds" of Gmail accounts had been hijacked in a campaign that appeared to originate in China. China's Foreign Ministry subsequently denied the allegations.
Other stocks in focus included, for-profit colleges Apollo Group and Corinthian College. On Wednesday, U.S. officials softened rules that could have cut off tuition aid to some programs run by for-profit colleges.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were broadly lower as shares in the financial sector led losses after Moody's cut Greece's sovereign rating to Caa1 from B1, only four notches above the default level. The EURO STOXX 50 slumped 0.9%, France's CAC 40 tumbled 1.3%, Germany's DAX dropped 1.2%, while Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.85%.
In Asia, markets tumbled on heightened concerns about the global economic outlook, while political woes in Japan added to the selling in the Tokyo market. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled 1.7%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index sank 1.6%.
Earlier Thursday, revised data showed that non-farm productivity rose in line with expectations in the first quarter, while unit labor costs rose slightly less-than-expected.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish official data on factory orders, as well as information on crude oil inventories and natural gas stockpiles.
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