Thursday January 25th


Dow futures leap 115 points on Caterpillar earnings

U.S. stock index futures rose ahead of Wall Street's open Thursday as Caterpillar reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 100 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 8 points and 37 points, respectively. Caterpillar shares rose 3.8 percent in the premarket after the company released its fourth-quarter results. 3M also reported better-than-expected results, helping lift investor sentiment. Shares of 3M gained 2.5 percent. The major indexes posted intraday records on Wednesday, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished the session lower as valuation concerns and worries about protectionist policies made some investors nervous. In data news, jobless claims totaled 233,000, below the expected 240,000. New home sales are then set to come out at 10 a.m. ET and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey at 11 a.m. ET. Investors also looked at the European Central Bank after it left interest rates unchanged, as was widely expected. Elsewhere, oil prices edged higher on the back of weakness seen in the U.S. dollar and a decline in U.S. crude inventories. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, hit $71.20 a barrel - the highest since early December 2014. At 0956 GMT, Brent eased to $70.81, still up 28 cents. U.S. crude climbed to $66.44, also the highest since early December 2014, before dipping to $66.11, up 50 cents. Most major indexes in Asia closed lower on Thursday as the dollar continued to struggle after tumbling in the last session. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.13 percent, or 271.29 points, to close at 23,669.49. Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.95 percent to end at 2,562.23, with recent earnings reports in focus. Greater China markets came under pressure on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.52 percent by 3:06 p.m. HK/SIN after closing higher for the seventh straight session on Wednesday. Mainland markets were more subdued. The Shanghai composite edged down 0.31 percent to close at 3,548.30 and the Shenzhen composite ended the session lower by 0.39 percent. Gold prices on Thursday edged up to their highest since August 2016, buoyed as the U.S. dollar hit three-year lows after comments by U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin that he welcomed a weaker currency. Spot gold had risen 0.2 percent to $1,360.56 per ounce by 0724 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 3, 2016 at $1,366.07. U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,359.70 per ounce.