U.S. stock futures higher ahead of GDP data; Dow up 0.3%

Forex Pros - U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday, as shares in Guess rallied ahead of the open, while markets awaited the release of revised first quarter GDP data and a report on jobless claims.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated an increase of 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures added 0.28%, while Nasdaq 100 futures pointed to a gain of 0.15%.

Clothing retailer Guess saw shares rally 12.5% in pre-market trade after it said first quarter revenue rose 10% to USD592.2 million, surpassing expectations for revenue of USD567.7 million, as results benefited from strong global demand.

Luxury-goods retailer Tiffany & Co. saw shares gain 3.5% after it said first quarter revenue increased 20% to USD761 million, outstripping expectations for revenue of USD701 million. The upbeat results prompted the company to lift its earnings outlook for the remainder of the year.

Shares in data-storage company NetApp jumped 4% after it forecast full-year earnings that topped market expectations. For the current quarter, the company said profit rose to USD160.6 million, up 9.5% from a year earlier.

Packaged-food company Heinz saw shares rise 1.2% after it said fourth quarter profit rose 14% from a year earlier. The company boosted its earnings forecast and raised its dividend payout by 6.7%.

On the downside, shares in information technology giant Computer Sciences plunged 7.2% after it reported a 34% decline in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings. Revenue in the quarter was USD4.2 billion, slightly lower than expectations for revenue of USD4.23 billion.

Shares in discount retailer Big Lots slumped 2.4% after it reported a 6% drop in first quarter profit as sales declined 0.6%. The company lowered its full-year earnings forecast, citing lower sales at its established stores and higher costs.

Meanwhile, shares in Microsoft could be active after influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn called for the company's CEO Steve Ballmer to step down, saying the world's largest software company's leader is stuck in the past.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were broadly higher as shares in the financial sector advanced after Fitch Ratings said that the exposure of European banks to Greece was manageable.

The EURO STOXX 50 edged 0.2% higher, France's CAC 40 rose 0.35%, Germany's DAX eased up 0.05%, while Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.6%.

During the Asian trading session, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rallied 1.5%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.7% as commodity producers led gains after Deutsche Bank upgraded the raw material sector.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish revised government data on first quarter economic growth as well as a weekly report on initial jobless claims.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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