Futures Little Changed Ahead of Economic Data

U.S. stock index futures were little changed in light trading on Thursday ahead of a host of economic data.

Volumes have been muted this week just ahead of the holiday season, subjecting the market to pronounced movements.

U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with healthcare and real estate shares losing ground.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly rose to within 15 points of 20,000, a level it has never reached. The blue-chip index has been threatening to breach the mark for the last several days, but has failed to do so.

U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with the Dow up about 9 percent and the S&P 6 percent as investors expect the economy to benefit from President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending.

Scheduled economic data includes durable goods orders, which is expected to have fallen 4.7 percent in November. The report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to confirm that third-quarter gross domestic product increased at a 3.3 percent annualized rate.

The Labor Department will report initial claims for state unemployment benefits, which likely rose 2,000 to 256,000 for the week ended Dec. 17.

Consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in November after a similar increase in October, a report is expected to show. The data is due at 10 a.m. ET.

Oil prices slipped in tepid trading, dragged down by an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week and moves by Libya to boost output over the next few months. [O/R]

Micron Technology shares (MU.O) jumped 10.6 percent to $22.77 in premarket trading after the chipmaker’s profit forecast beat expectations.

Red Hat (RHT.N) fell 10.6 percent to $71.30 after the Linux OS distributor’s quarterly revenue fell below estimates.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY.O) dropped 3.4 percent to $44, a day after the U.S. retailer’s quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates.

Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 11 points, or 0.06 percent, with 11,490 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 2 points, or 0.09 percent, with 54,240 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 4.25 points, or 0.09 percent, on volume of 8,398 contracts.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell