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Current Futures: Dow +3.00, S&P +0.60, NASDAQ +0.50

Asian and U.S. markets posted relative modest gains on Thursday, paring the declines seen just one day before. U.S. futures traded flat so far, unaffected by the spot session activity. 

Most of the gains came from the financials, commodity stocks and real estate companies during the U.S. session. These gains, which averaged around 3%, helped the market off-set the declines from the health-care industry and from the consumer discretionary industry. 

The financial shares pushed forward, as a number of financial analysts upgraded the company’s outlook to buy. As such, the XLF index, which tracks the performance of the biggest Wall Street banks soared 4%, while the once bankrupted AIG gained 11.56%. Raw material companies also had strong performance on Thursday, as crude oil and metal reached a new high for the current year. Currently, the commodity market seems to be in a very strong bull run, something that has had a positive effect on the equity markets.

Real estate companies also posted strong gains on Thursday, as some suggest the housing market is near the bottom. Moreover, a release showed that U.K. house prices rose unexpectedly in May, something that made investors speculate the same was valid in the U.S. market. 
In Japan, the financial sectors and the raw material companies led the gains, following the same template set in the U.S. session. Moreover, Japanese stocks received a strong boost from the carmakers, which continued to advance following GM’s bankruptcy.

Overnight, the Japanese Nikkei added 68.46 points (0.71%) to 9,737.42. The Australian S&P/Asx advanced 64.50 points (1.64%) to 3,999.10. 

Crude oil for July delivery was recently trading at $69.10 per barrel, higher by $0.30.

Gold for July delivery was recently trading higher by $0.20 to $978.10.

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