Wednesday comes loaded with economic data releases as durable goods orders, jobless claims, Chicago purchasing managers' index, leading indicators and consumer sentiment numbers vie for the attention of investors preoccupied with battling a foul weather system standing between them and a turkey dinner.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.08 percent while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.13 percent while those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.17 percent.
Data on durable goods orders for October is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST. Orders are forecast to fall 2.2 percent in October following a 3.8 percent jump in September, according to a survey of economists by MarketWatch.
Also scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. release are jobless claims numbers for the week ended Nov. 23, and claims are projected to rise marginally to 330,000 from 323,000 in the prior week, MarketWatch reported, adding that jobless claims are near their lowest levels since the recession ended.
Later in the day, at 9:45 a.m. EST, we have the Chicago PMI for November. This data point, in October, had surged more than 10 points to 65.9, for its strongest monthly gain in more than 30 years. A Wall Street Journal survey consensus pegs the number at a less heady 60.5 in November.
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At 9:55 a.m. EST, the Thomson Reuters-University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is expected to show that it ticked up to 73.3 in November, according to the Journal’s consensus estimate, compared to a 72.0 reading in the previous month.
In Europe, stocks rose after a survey showed upbeat sentiment among German consumers in the run-up to the holiday season. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.35 percent, while London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.19 percent, Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.19 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.12 percent.
In Asia, markets were mostly down with the exception of Chinese indexes. Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.42 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.45 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.82 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.53 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index was up by 0.31 percent while India’s BSE Sensex ended almost flat, down 0.02 percent.