Following Wednesday's rally fueled by glad tidings on the economic data and earnings fronts, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's reassurance to markets about the future of interest rates, Thursday should see indexes being influenced by data on jobless claims and a raft of earnings from bellwether companies across sectors.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.26 percent while futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.24 percent and those on the Nasdaq were down 0.14 percent. On Wednesday, the Dow gained 1 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 1.05 percent while the Nasdaq rose 1.29 percent.
General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE:SLB) and Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE:UNP) are among the companies expected to report quarterly results before the markets open. Wall Street majors such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) are also scheduled to announce earnings before markets open.
On the data front, jobless claims for the week ended April 12 will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT while the Philadelphia Fed's general business conditions index for April will be released at 10 a.m.
In Europe, markets were slightly weak with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.20 percent while the FTSE 100 was down 0.21 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 fell 0.12 percent while France's CAC-40 was down 0.04 percent.
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In Asia, Japan's Nikkei-225 ended the day flat while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.63 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.28 percent while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi ended the day nearly flat, down 0.01 percent, while India's BSE Sensex was trading up 1.59 percent.