Thursday February 9th


US stock futures point to higher open amid data, earnings

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday as traders eyed a big day of earnings, data and Federal Reserve speakers. On the earnings front Coca-Cola, Twitter, Kellogg and Viacom are among companies that reported before the bell. Activision Blizzard, Expedia, News Corp., Western Union and Yelp are due to report after the bell. reported earlier Thursday. On the data front, initial jobless claims totaled 234,000, down 12,000, with wholesale trade set to come out at 10 a.m. ET. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans are set to speak at 9:05 a.m. ET and 1:10 p.m. ET respectively. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was around 0.38 percent higher on Thursday.  Asian shares retraced earlier losses to trade higher on Thursday, as crude and gold prices also climbed. Chinese markets were higher as the Shanghai composite eked out gains of 16.8 points or 0.53 percent at 3,183.79 while the Shenzhen composite climbed 0.66 percent or 12.8 points to close at 1,954.62. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.24 percent, while in South Korea, the Kospi finished nearly flat at 2,065.88. Oil prices rose on Thursday, supported by an unexpected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories, although bloated crude supplies meant that fuel markets remain under pressure. Benchmark Brent crude was up 43 cents a barrel at $55.55 per barrel. U.S. light crude was 54 cents higher at $52.88 a barrel. Gold steadied near three-month highs on Thursday as political risk in Europe and the United States drove demand for bullion as a safe haven. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,240.50 an ounce, having struck its highest since Nov. 11 at $1,244.67 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures gained 0.2 percent to $1,242.00. Gold has risen 1.7 percent this week as U.S. President Donald Trump has fought to enforce his temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries and as far-right leader Marine Le Pen launched her bid for the French