Thursday April 26th


US stocks set to for a positive open as earnings take the limelight

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday, as earnings season continued to shower the markets with fresh financial updates from leading corporates. Around 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 53 points, indicating a higher open of 83.17 points. Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 futures also indicated an upbeat start to the session for their respective markets. Facebook and Chipotle reported better-than-expected earnings Wednesday after the close, sending their stocks higher by 7.1 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. On Thursday, UPS, American Airlines, and ConocoPhillips all posted earnings that beat estimates. The moves in premarket trade come after markets in the U.S. finished the previous session mostly higher, as positive earnings offset concerns surrounding rising yields. While Asia and Europe have shown a slight rebound on Thursday, investors still remain cautious on moves in the bond market. On Tuesday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note topped the 3 percent mark, and continued to extend gains on Wednesday. With yields on the apparent rise, market participants are wondering what this will mean for the global economy with many expecting this to mean higher interest rates from central banks. Speaking of central banks, the European Central Bank (ECB) kept interest rates unchanged and reaffirmed its stimulative monetary policy stance. The U.S. 10-year yield dipped below 3 percent following that announcement. Looking to economic data, U.S. durable goods orders rose 2.6 percent in March, far more than the expected 1.6 percent gain. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims totaled 209,000 last week, below a forecast of 230,000. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 104.29 points, or 0.47 percent, to 22,319.61, while the Topix gained 4.4 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,772.13. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi rose 26.83 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,475.64. Chinese mainland markets ended the session lower. The Shanghai composite fell 42.12 points, or 1.35 percent, to 3,075.85 and the Shenzhen composite was off by 38.85 points, or 2.14 percent, to 1,770.40. Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by concerns over supply disruptions in Venezuela and the Middle East as well as by strong demand. Brent crude oil futures were at 74.44 per barrel at 0105 GMT, up 44 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $68.36 per barrel. Gold prices hovered near five-week lows on Thursday as higher U.S. bond yields and a stronger dollar dampened interest in bullion. Worries about growing supply of U.S. government debt and inflationary pressures from rising oil prices have pushed U.S. 10-year bond yields above 3 percent for the first time in four years. That, in turn, has helped to thrust the dollar to its strongest since January, making bullion more expensive for users of other currencies. Higher bond yields, meanwhile, also reduce the attraction of non-yielding gold. Spot gold was flat at $1,322.81 an ounce after on Wednesday, having touched its lowest since March 21 at $1,318.51. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,324.10 an ounce.