Thursday February 15th


Dow futures soar more than 250 points as rally continues

U.S. stock index futures posted sharp gains ahead of Thursday's open, extending a rally seen in previous sessions. Stocks were poised to open higher despite further gains in Treasury yields. Dow futures were up 253 points at around 7:15 a.m. ET, indicating a rise of 254.51 points at the open. The Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures also suggested markets would begin trade in the black. During Wednesday's session, indexes went on a roller-coaster ride,after inflation data rattled investor sentiment. Ahead of the Wall Street open Wednesday, U.S. futures reversed gains to trade sharply down, after inflation data came in above market estimates. The consumer price index rose 0.5 percent in January, beating forecasts of a 0.3 percent increase — triggering a sharp reaction from domestic markets and from overseas. Despite the data — and the subsequent jump in Treasury yields — Wall Street recovered and managed to close sharply higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing up more than 250 points. The benchmark 10-year note yield rose to 2.935 percent, hitting a fresh four-year high. On the data front Thursday, jobless claims, price producer index (PPI) data, the Empire State manufacturing survey and Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey are all scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. After that, industrial production is due out at 9:15 a.m. ET, followed by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index at 10 a.m. ET. The Treasury International Capital (TIC) data will then come in at 4 p.m. ET. Elsewhere, markets overseas were trading higher, while investors will be paying close attention to the bond market. Concerns of rising inflation have recently sent jitters down Wall Street. Asian stocks closed higher on Thursday, taking cues from the rally onWall Street, while the dollar slipped. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.47 percent, or 310.81 points, to close at 21,464.98. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed higher by 1.97 percent, or 599.83 points, at 31,115.43, with the finance, and commerce and industry sectors contributing the most to gains. Markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed on Thursday for the Lunar New Year holiday. Last week, all three major U.S. indexes finished the five-day trading period more than 5 percent down each, with the Dow delivering its worst performance in two years. Oil prices slipped on Thursday as record U.S. production and rising inventories outweighed a weak dollar and Saudi Arabia's comments that OPEC and other producers were committed to their pact on cutting supplies. U.S. crude output hit a record 10.27 million barrels per day, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. U.S. crude and gasoline inventories rose last week, U.S. data showed. Brent crude futures were at $63.90 per barrel, down 46 cents at 7:47 a.m. ET (1247 GMT), after Wednesday's 2.6-percent climb. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 13 cents from their last settlement at $60.47 a barrel. The contract surged 2.4-percent gain the day before. Gold was on track for its fourth straight session of gains on Thursday as the dollar skidded to its lowest in two weeks on concerns about the impact of high levels of U.S debt and tax cuts. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,353.73 an ounce by 1106 GMT after earlier hitting its highest since Jan. 25 at $1,357.08. It had risen 1.6 percent on Wednesday, its highest one-day gain since May 2017. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,356.8 per ounce.