Dow futures rise 40 pts; jobless claims, banking sector in focus
By Peter Nurse
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Thursday, bouncing back from the previous session's sharp selloff as investors continue to digest the Federal Reserve's policy update ahead of the release of weekly unemployment data.
At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 40 points or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 17 points or 0.4% higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 125 points or 1%.
The main averages closed with hefty losses on Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping over 500 points, following the conclusion of the latest Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting, which resulted in a hike to the funds rate of 25 basis points.
While this increase was largely expected, Chair Jerome Powell also reiterated the central bank's commitment to reining in inflation even while hinting that the policymakers had considered pausing future increases in view of recent turmoil in the financial sector.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen did little to boost sentiment when she said the U.S. authorities were not considering "blanket insurance" for banking deposits across the sector.
Investors are looking to take advantage of the battered valuations in early trade Thursday, but worries persist that the Fed's numerous interest rate hikes to combat inflation , coupled with the turmoil in the banking sector, could tip the economy into recession.
New home sales data are due for release later Thursday, but more attention will be paid to the weekly initial jobless claims at 08:30 ET (12:30 GMT), for clues about the strength of the labor market.
Analysts expect a reading of 197,000, which would be slightly up from the previous week.
In corporate news, the banking sector will remain in the spotlight, with the likes of First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ), PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW ), and Western Alliance (NYSE: WAL ) trading higher premarket after the recent selloff.
Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN ) stock fell over 11% premarket after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission threatened to sue the crypto exchange over some of its products.
Earnings are scheduled from Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI ) as well as processed foods giant General Mills (NYSE: GIS ).
Oil prices fell Thursday, snapping a three-day advance, after the Fed hiked interest rates while U.S. crude oil stocks grew again, rising for 12 out of the last 13 weeks.
Data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil inventories grew by just over 1 million barrels, climbing to the highest level since May 2021.
By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% lower at $70.27 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.7% to $76.15.
Both crude benchmarks settled on Wednesday at their highest close since March 14 after the dollar slid to a six-week low.
Additionally, gold futures rose 1.6% to $1,980.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0877.
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