Futures on major U.S. indices point to a slightly higher opening Thursday ahead of the report on weekly jobless claims and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony.
Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.33 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures are up 0.22 percent. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.20 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on weekly jobless claims, to be reported later Thursday. Initial jobless claims, which measure the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week, are expected to fall by 6,000 to 377,000 in the week ended June 2.
Investor confidence can be affected by expectations about U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony about the country's economic outlook. Investors will be looking for hints as to whether or not there may be future monetary stimulus moves in the U.S. by the Fed.
On Wednesday, U.S. markets were up as investor sentiment was boosted by expectations that policymakers around the world would take concrete measures to regain global growth momentum.
Investor confidence was also boosted by a press conference by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt Wednesday. ECB President Mario Draghi’s encouraging comments on prompt action, if needed, has buoyed market players.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.37 percent, the S&P 500 Index climbed 2.30 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 2.40 percent.
All major European indices were in positive territory following growing confidence among market players that policy makers would take steps to sort out the economic problems in Spain and Greece. London’s FTSE 100 advanced by 23.63 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index by 31.73 points and France's CAC 40 by 16.45 points.
Asian markets rose Thursday following positive cues globally, which lifted investor sentiment. Expectations that China will delay bringing in tighter capital rules also increased market confidence.