Stock futures rise on Thursday morning


Stock futures rose slightly in early trading on Thursday after better-than-feared earnings and strong consumer confidence data helped boost stocks for a second day.

Stock futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Averages gained 77 points or 0.23%, while S&P 500 futures added 0.29%. Nasdaq 100 futures inched 0.33% higher.

Micron Technology shares slipped 2% in overnight trading on disappointing quarterly results. Under Armour shares shifted between gains and losses after the athletics apparel maker selected Marriott executive Stephanie Linnartz as its next CEO.

The overnight moves followed another positive session for stocks. During regular trading Wednesday, the Dow gained 526.74 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite surged 1.49% and 1.54%, respectively.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished the day with gains, led to the upside by energy. Nike and FedEx shares rose on quarterly results, giving some investors hope that earnings are faring decently despite concerns of a downturn. Strong consumer sentiment data for December also gave markets a lift.

While better earnings results likely factored into the upbeat market sentiment Wednesday, oversold conditions may have contributed to the rally, according to Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist.

“I think there were a couple of earnings reports that came out that were marginally better than expected,” she said. “But I also think that the market has been in another corrective phase, and, on some technical measures, got a bit oversold. Buyers stepped in. The wiggles on a day-to-day basis are hard to put a direct finger on.”

Even with Wednesday’s gains, stocks are on pace to finish the month with losses. The Dow is down 3.51%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have tumbled 4.94% and 6.62%, respectively. All three major averages are slated to break a 3-year win streak and post their worst yearly performance since 2008.

On Thursday, investors await earnings results from Carmax and jobless claims data.



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