Futures on major U.S. indices point to higher opening on Thursday as better-than-expected Japanese economic growth boosted sentiment.
Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.30 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.24 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.19 percent.
Japan on Thursday said it still remained the second-largest economy in the world after its economy expanded more than the government initially estimated in the third quarter on higher capital spending.
The Cabinet Office’s final GDP report showed growth of 1.1 percent in the third quarter, up from the mark of 0.9 percent in the second quarter. GDP grew at an annualized pace of 4.5 percent in the third quarter, faster than 3.9 percent reported last month.
On the economic front, the Department of Labor is due to report the initial jobless claims data before the opening bell. Economists forecast initial jobless claims to be 430,000 for the week ended December 4 against 436,000 of the previous week. Any data that is weaker than expected will weigh on market sentiments.
After the opening bell, reports on monthly wholesale inventories and natural gas storage will be released.
On Wednesday, US stocks crept higher in a choppy trading session as traders likely had more time to digest the implications of the extension of George W. Bush’s tax cuts for two years, as well as a renewal of unemployment insurance for long-term jobless for thirteen months.
The euro declined 0.31 percent to 1.3220 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.11 percent against the greenback.
Crude futures advanced 0.44 percent to $88.67/barrel and gold futures rose 0.15 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 up by 12.29 points, DAX30 down by 2.86 points and CAC 40 up by 14.53 points.