Wall Street Set To Open Higher

(RTTNews) - Asian shares finished broadly higher, while European shares are trading lower on Thursday. Traders are also likely to keep an eye on the preliminary reading on first-quarter GDP as well as reports on weekly jobless claims and pending home sales.

Earnings news is likely to attract attention on Thursday, with Apple (AAPL), eBay (EBAY), Facebook (FB), Ford (F), and Qualcomm (QCOM) among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading.

Initials signs from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open positive. As of 7.55 am ET, the Dow futures were adding 130.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were progressing 28.25 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were gaining 145.25 points.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department's Gross Domestic Product or GDP for the first quarter will be published at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for an increase of 6.5 percent, while it was up 4.3 percent in the prior quarter. Personal Consumption Expenditure is expected to be up 10.5 percent.

The Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week is scheduled at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for 558K, while it was 547K in the prior week.

National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index for March is scheduled at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for increase of 3.8 percent, while it was down 10.6 percent in February.

The Fed Balance Sheet for the week is expected at 4.30 pm ET. In the prior week, the level was at $7.82 trillion.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randal Quarles will participate in "Financial Regulation" discussion before virtual Options Clearing Corporation Conference at 10.00 am ET.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams to moderate a virtual conversation hosted by the Economic Club of New York at 2.00 pm ET.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Thursday. Japanese markets were closed for Showa Day. Chinese shares fluctuated before finishing higher. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged up 17.83 points, or 0.52 percent, to 3,474.90 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended up 231.92 points, or 0.80 percent, at 29,303.26.

Australian markets advanced as higher commodity prices helped lift shares of energy companies and gold miners. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 17.60 points, or 0.25 percent, to 7,082.30 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 26 points, or 0.36 percent, at 7,346.

European shares are trading mostly lower. Among the major indexes in the region, the CAC 40 Index of France is progressing 26.18 points or 0.43 percent. The German DAX is losing 78.80 points or 0.52 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is gaining 40.56 points or 0.59 percent. The Swiss Market Index is down 6.24 points or 0.06 percent.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is up 0.078 percent.

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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