Futures on major U.S. stock indices remained range-bound on Thursday ahead of economic data including key US GDP figures from the government.
Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.01 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.02 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.01 percent.
Investors are eagerly waiting for the GDP numbers and weekly jobless claims report to understand the current situation in the world’s largest economy.
The Commerce Department is due to report advanced GDP estimate for the first quarter of 2011 before the market opens. Economists have forecast GDP to grow by 1.7 percent in the first quarter compared to 3.1 percent growth reported in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The Department of Labor is due to report the initial jobless claims data at 8:30 am EDT. The economists forecast initial jobless claims to be 390,000 for the week ended April 23 against 403,000 of the previous week. Any data that is weaker than expected will weigh on market sentiments.
On the earnings front, Coca-Cola Enterprises, PepsiCo, Dow Chemical, CONSOL Energy and Apache Corp. will report their quarterly earnings before the opening bell, while Microsoft, Southwestern Energy, Expedia, Monster Worldwide and Cliffs Natural Resources will report their quarterly earnings after the markets close.
US stocks rallied to new multi-year highs on Wednesday after Fed renewed its pledge to stimulate growth with low rates and said a pickup in inflation is likely to be temporary.
The Dollar Index declined to a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Thursday after the Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to stimulate growth with low rates. The euro advanced 0.33 percent to 1.4837 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.57 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures declined 0.05 percent to $112.70/barrel and gold futures gained 1.03 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 4.10 points, DAX30 up by 29.53 points and CAC 40 up by 25.08 points.