U.S. stocks rallied Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring 200 points after crude oil prices rebounded and jumped 4 percent to close above $50 a barrel following the previous session’s sharp 9 percent decline. Investors are now shifting gears and looking ahead to earnings reports after the closing bell as social networking giant Twitter Inc. and professional networking site LinkedIn Corp. are expected to post their latest quarterly results.
In afternoon trading Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 211.86 points, or 1.20 percent, to close at 17,884.88; the S&P 500 stock index added 21 points, or 1.03 percent, to end at 2,062.51; and the Nasdaq Composite gained 48.39 points, or 1.03 percent, to finish at 4,765.10.
Oil Prices Rebound As U.S. Crude Closes Above $50 A Barrel
Oil prices closed higher Thursday after posting a decline to snap a four-day rally the previous session. West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, rose $2.03 Thursday to close at $50.48 a barrel for March 15 delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Meanwhile, Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, added 4 percent Thursday to move to $56 a barrel for March 15 delivery on the London ICE Futures Exchange. It fell 7 percent Wednesday.
Oil prices have slumped dramatically over the past six months, but have rebounded slightly over the last week. Globally, oil prices have fallen by around 50 percent since their peak at $115 a barrel in June. The biggest single factor behind this fall in prices is the surge in production in the U.S., according to London-based Capital Economics.
“We think that oil prices have probably now fallen by about as far as they are likely to,” Capital Economics said in a research note Thursday. “We expect the price of Brent will still be just $70 at the end of 2020.”
After the Bell: Twitter, LinkedIn Report Q4 Earnings
After U.S. markets close Thursday, social networking giant Twitter Inc. will post quarterly results, along with professional networking site LinkedIn Corp.
Twitter Inc. disappointed investors in October when the company lowered its earnings outlook for the fourth quarter. The tech firm's fourth-quarter guidance is in the range of $440 million to $450 million, missing estimates for that quarter where analysts averaged $448 million. Twitter is forecast to issue fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $41.96 million, or earnings per share of 6 cents, on revenue of $453.34 million, compared with a profit of $9.77 million, or a loss of $1.41, on revenue of $242.68 million a year ago.
Ahead of the report, shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) are up more than 1 percent in afternoon trading Thursday to $41.17.
Analysts will focus on mobile user growth when professional networking site LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) reports its latest earnings Thursday, as well as the company’s multi-app portfolio strategy. Mobile now accounts for 47 percent of total traffic to LinkedIn, according to the company’s third-quarter earnings report.
LinkedIn Corp. is expected to report fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $67.13 million, or an earnings per share loss of 8 cents, on revenue of $616.93 million, compared with a profit of $48.24 million, or earnings per share of 3 cents, on revenue of $447.22 million a year earlier.
Shares of LinkedIn Corp. are trading up more than 1.8 percent Thursday to $236.27 ahead of the closing bell.
Wall Street’s Day Ahead: January Jobs Report in Focus
Ahead on the economic calendar Friday, economists will turn their attention to the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January. The report is expected to show U.S. employers added 234,000 jobs in January, down from 252,000 in December, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged from last month's reading of 5.6 percent. Average hourly earnings are forecast to increase 0.3 percent and average hours worked are expected to hold steady at 34.6 per week.