Following Wednesday’s slump in stock markets, triggered by the Federal Reserve’s mostly unsurprising move to trim its stimulus program further, investors have a lot to look forward to on Thursday in the form of corporate earnings and economic data.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.11 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.18 percent while those on the Nasdaq were up 0.24 percent. On Wednesday, all three indexes fell more than 1 percent.
On the earnings calendar, Wednesday’s schedule before market hours is a super-packed one and includes Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) and United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS) among many other major corporations. After market hours, earnings from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will be under close scrutiny.
On the data front, GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2013 is due at 8:30 a.m. EST. Jobless claims numbers for the week ended Jan. 25 are scheduled to be released at the same time. Data on pending home sales in December are due at 10 a.m.
In Europe, stocks were weak across the board, reportedly spooked by the Fed's decision to taper and China’s unflattering PMI data, and the Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading down 0.31 percent while the FTSE 100 was down 0.25 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.17 percent while France's CAC-40 was down 0.15 percent.
In Asia, markets were steeply down with Japan’s Nikkei plummeting 2.45 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.78 percent. The Shanghai Composite index was down 0.82 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.48 percent while India’s BSE Sensex was down 0.72 percent.