Wall Street Targets To Open Positive Ahead Of Key Economic Announcements

(RTTNews) - Initial Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales, as well as Fed speeches, might be the highlight on Thursday. Earnings reports also might get attention.

In more than 50 years, U.S. unmanned spacecraft will land on the moon today at 5.30 pm ET.

Early signs from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open higher. Asian shares finished mostly up, while European shares are trading positive.

As of 7.30 am ET, the Dow futures were up 155.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 63.00 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were progressing 354.75 points.

The U.S. major averages finished mostly higher. The Dow and the S&P 500 bounced well off their worst levels. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed lower for the third straight session. While the Nasdaq fell 49.91 points or 0.3 percent to 15,580.90, the Dow inched up 48.44 points or 0.1 percent to 38,612.24 and the S&P 500 crept up 6.29 points or 0.1 percent to 4,981.80.

On the economic front, the Jobless Claims for the week will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for 216K, while it was up 212K in the prior week.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for January will be revealed at 8.30 am ET. In the prior month, the Index was down 0.15.

The PMI Composite Flash Index for February will be issued at 9.45 am ET. The manufacturing consensus is 50.1, while the Services Index consensus is 52.0.

The Existing Home Sales for January is scheduled at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for 3.98 million, while it was up 3.78 million in December.

The Quarterly Services Survey for the fourth quarter will be published at 10.00 am ET. In the prior quarter, the selected services revenue was up 0.5 percent.

The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Natural Gas Report for the week will be revealed at 10.30 am ET. In the prior week, the gas stock was down 49 bcf. EIA's Petroleum status report is expected at 11.00 am ET. In the prior week, the crude oil inventories were up 12.0 million barrels and the gasoline inventories were down 3.7 million barrels.

Two-year, 5-year, and 7-year Treasury Note auctions will be held at 11.00 am ET.

30-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities or TIPS auction will be held at 1.00 pm ET.

The Fed Balance Sheet for the week will be released at 4.30 pm ET. In the prior week, the level was at $7.634 trillion.

Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson will speak on the U.S. economic outlook and monetary policy before a Peterson Institute for International Economics webcast at 10.00 am ET.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will speak on the economic outlook before an event hosted by the University of Delaware Center for Economic Education at 3.15 pm ET.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will participate in a panel discussion hosted by Northside Economic Opportunity Network Community Conversations at 5.00 pm ET.

Lisa Cook will speak at the Annual Conference of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy & Finance at 5.00 pm ET. Fed Governor Christopher Waller will speak on the economic outlook before the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas Finding Forward Speaker Series at 7.35 pm ET.

Asian stocks advanced on Thursday. Chinese shares rallied, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite index up 1.27 percent at 2,988.36. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.45 percent to 16,742.95. Japanese markets posted strong gains. The Nikkei average jumped 2.19 percent to 39,098.68. The broader Topix index settled 1.27 percent higher at 2,660.71. Australian markets fluctuated before ending marginally higher.

European shares are trading mostly higher. CAC 40 of France is gaining 90.62 points or 1.16 percent. DAX of Germany is adding 234.19 points or 1.37 percent. FTSE 100 of England is progressing 12.44 points or 0.17 percent. The Swiss Market Index is down 44.79 points or 0.39 percent.

Euro Stoxx 50 which provides a Blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in the Eurozone, is up 1.46 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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