Thursday April 15th


Dow is set to jump by 200 points at the open after retail sales boom by nearly 10% in March

U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday after economic data pointing to an accelerating recovering as well as strong earnings results. Contracts tied to the Dow pointed to a 200-point gain at the open. S&P 500 futures added 0.7%. Nasdaq-100 futures gained 1%. Retail sales surged 9.8% in March as additional stimulus sent consumer spending soaring, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That number topped the Dow Jones estimate of a 6.1% gain. A separate report on Thursday showed that first-time filings for unemployment insurance plunged, with the Labor Department reporting 576,000 new jobless claims for the week ended April 10. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 710,000. Shares of Citigroup climbed more than 2% after the bank posted results that beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit with strong investment banking revenue and a bigger-than-expected release of loan-loss reserves. Bank of America shares rose as earnings last quarter blew past the Street on booming trading and investment banking results as well the release of loan-loss reserves. The shares gained 1%. The market has been grinding higher to reach new records in recent sessions amid the economic reopening and trillions of dollars in stimulus. The S&P 500 has gained nearly 10% in 2021 with energy and financials being the two best winning sectors. “I am incredibly bullish on the markets, and you are right to be worried about our deficits,” Larry Fink, BlackRock CEO, said in an interview on “Squawk Box.” “If we don’t have economic growth that is sustainable over the next 10 years — our deficits are going to matter and they are going to elevate interest rates ... I believe because of monetary stimulus, fiscal stimulus, cash on the sidelines, earnings, markets are okay. Markets are going to continue to be stronger.” Pepsi shares added 0.6% after the consumer snack and drink maker said sales last quarter rose nearly 7%, topping estimates. Shares of UnitedHealth, a Dow member, gained 1% after results topped the Street and the health insurer raised guidance for 2021. Tech stocks rebounded from Tuesday losses in early trading with shares of Tesla up about 1%. Newly public crypto exchange Coinbase jumped 9% in early trading after it was revealed Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood loaded up on the first day of trading. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration called for a pause in administering J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine after six people in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots. The announcement triggered a sell-off in reopening plays earlier in the week, but is not expected to have a material impact on the pace of the U.S. vaccine rollout. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, with Australia’s jobs data for March beating expectations. Taiwan’s Taiex surged 1.25% on Thursday to close at 17,076.73, leading gains among the region’s major markets. Mainland Chinese stocks slipped on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.52% to 3,398.99 while the Shenzhen component declined 0.42% to 13,680.27. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell around 0.5%, as of its final hour of trading. Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced fractionally to close at 29,642.69 while the Topix index gained 0.36% to end the trading day at 1,959.13. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.38% higher at 3,194.33. Oil prices were lower on Thursday though holding near one-month highs after futures jumped in the previous as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others upgraded forecasts for oil demand as major economies recover from the pandemic. Brent crude was down by 13 cents, or 0.2%, at $66.46 per barrel, after gaining 4.6% on Wednesday and closing at the highest since March 17. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures dropped 19 cents, or 0.3%, to $62.97 per barrel, having risen 4.9% in the previous session. Gold gained on Thursday as a weaker dollar and Treasury yields bolstered bullion’s appeal, ahead of U.S. weekly jobless claims and retail sales data that will shed light on the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy. Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,744.30 per ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,745.