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Stocks May Open Higher On Upbeat Jobs Data - US Commentary

July 24, 2014



WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - After ending the previous session mixed, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 24 points.

Early buying interest may be generated by a report from the Labor Department showing that initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell to an eight-year low in the week ended July 19th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims slid to 284,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level of 303,000.

The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to climb to 308,000 from the 302,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 283,000 in the week ended February 18, 2006.

The upbeat jobs data points to continued improvement in the labor market but may also raise some concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

Not long after the open, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of June.

Most economists expect new home sales to drop to an annual rate of 475,000 in June after surging higher in the previous month.

Earnings news also remains in focus on the day, with shares of Facebook (FB) jumping 7.6% in pre-market trading after the social media giant reported better than expected second quarter results on strong mobile ad growth.

Computer accessories maker Logitech (LOGI) is also likely to see early strength after reporting a bigger than expected jump in first quarter earnings on improved margins and sales growth.

On the other hand, shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) make come under pressure after the mobile chip maker reported better than expected third quarter results but provided disappointing fourth quarter guidance.

Big-name companies such as 3M (MMM), Caterpillar (CAT), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and United Continental (UAL) have also released their quarterly results this morning.

With traders reacting to the latest earnings news, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Wednesday before eventually ending the session mixed. The Dow ended the day in the red, but the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 managed to close in positive territory.

While the Dow edged down 26.91 points or 0.2% to 17,086.63, the Nasdaq rose 17.68 points or 0.4% to 4,473.70 and the S&P 500 crept up 3.48 points or 0.2% to 1,987.01. The modest gain on the day lifted the S&P 500 to a new record closing high.



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Source: Alliance News


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