RTTNews - U.S stocks futures point to a slightly lower opening Thursday morning after Fed Reserve reaffirmed its commitment to quantitative easing measures and downplayed inflation fears on Wednesday.
As of 6.30 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 12 points, the Nasdaq Futures were down 2.50 points, and the S&P Futures were down 3.25 points.
Wednesday, stocks ended mixed after the Federal Reserve announced no change to its rate target and reiterated its commitment to the quantitative easing measures first announced in March.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up by 27.42 points or 1.6% at 1,792 and the S&P 500 rose 5.84 points or 0.7% to 901, while the Dow declined by 23.05 points or 0.3% to close at 8,300.
Ahead of the opening bell, traders are likely to focus on the final report on first quarter GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report is due out at 8:30 AM ET. The report is likely to show that the U.S. economy contracted at a 5.7% rate in the quarter.
About the same time, the Labor Department would release its customary weekly jobless claims report for the week ended June 20th. Economists expect a small increase in claims to 602,000 from the initially estimated figure 601,000 for the previous week.
Traders might also be interested in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to the House Oversight Committee in connection with the purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America last year.
After the markets closed Wednesday, quick-service restaurants chain, CKE Restaurants, Inc. (CKR), reported a decline in first quarter earnings from last year, hurt by higher interest and income tax expenses.
Open source solutions provider Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Wednesday said after the markets closed that its first quarter profit increased from last year, helped by a 11% growth in revenue, partially offset by higher expenses.
Athletic shoe and apparel maker Nike Inc. (NKE) reported a 30% year-over-year decline in fourth quarter profit, hurt by lower sales and margins as well as a hefty restructuring charge.
Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.'s (BBBY) first quarter profit rose 14% from last year, helped by slightly higher sales and better cost control.
Packaged food company, ConAgra Foods (CAG) is scheduled to release fourth quarter and full-year results before the market opens for trading. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $0.42 per share for the quarter.
Woman's apparel retailer Christopher & Banks will be releasing its first quarter results before the bell. Analysts expect the retailer to report a loss of $0.05 per share for the quarter.
Light sweet crude oil price for August delivery is trading at $69.03 up $0.36 from previous close. The U.S dollar is showing a mixed trend against other major counterparts.
European markets are trading in negative territory following weaker-than-expected economic data on new industrial orders in the Euro area. Drug makers are dragging down the markets in the region
The markets across Asia ended in the positive territory on increasing optimism about global recovery. The International Monetary Fund, or the IMF, has raised the economic growth outlook for Australia and now expects the economy to shrink at a slower pace this year. South Korea raised its gross domestic product or GDP forecast for 2009, citing signs that the economic slowdown is easing on massive fiscal stimulus and interest rate cuts.
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