Thursday January 28th

28-01-2016

Dow futures shake off durable goods, add triple digits as US crude tops $34

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open Thursday, helped by a continued bounce in oil prices. Dow futures gained more than 150 points as U.S. crude oil futures topped $34 a barrel. Brent held above $35 a barrel as of 9:19 a.m. ET. The gains were supported by the possibility that major producers may cooperate to cut production. Earlier, futures came well off session highs, with Dow futures briefly turning negative after December durable goods orders declined far more than expected. Durable goods fell 5.1 percent in December, far more than expectations for a less-than 1 percent decline. Ex-transportation, the figure declined 1.2 percent. "That's another indication the economy is continuing to slow and an indication the Fed is going to hold off in the first half of this year," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. Weekly jobless claims came in at 278,000. Treasury yields edged lower after the data, with the 10-year dipping below 2 percent, before turning higher as oil climbed. Amazon.com, Amgen, Microsoft, Visa and Electronic Arts are among companies due to report after the bell. Shares of Facebook jumped more than 13 percent in pre-market trade. The social network reported earnings after the close Wednesday that blew past estimates, with the firm beating the $1 billion mark in quarterly net income for the first time ever. Wednesday saw stocks slump after the Fed's 2 p.m. post-meeting statement noted concerns about a weaker economy and global conditions. The central bank did not, however, specifically state it would defer rate hikes, unsettling some investors. The Fed has forecast four rate increases this year while the market expects but one. Pending home sales are due out at 10:00 a.m. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $33.70 a barrel on Thursday morning, up by 1.8 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $32.77 a barrel, up by 1.49 percent. Abbott Labs, Alibaba, Caterpillar, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ford, Blackstone, Harley-Davidson, Hershey, Northrop Grumman and Under Armour were among companies expected to report before the bell. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei finished 0.71 percent lower, while the Shanghai Composite closed 2.85 percent lower. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 index was more than 1 percent lower Thursday morning. Gold retreated on Thursday as investors cashed in gains from the previous day's rally to 12-week highs, but it remained elevated after the Federal Reserve sounded a cautious note on the pace of interest rate hikes this year. Spot gold was at $1,120.40 an ounce, down 0.4 percent on the day but marginally above where it stood ahead of the Fed announcement. It rose to $1,127.80, its highest since early November, in the immediate wake of the Fed decision. U.S. gold for February delivery was up 0.2 percent at $1,118 per ounce, off a session high of $1,125.70.