U.S. stock market index futures advanced modestly Thursday as investors parsed through the latest batch of corporate earnings. Futures tied to the broad index traded up 0.45%, while Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.95%. Futures tied to the Dow traded 48 points, or 0.14% higher. Earnings season trudged on with IBM dipping 2% despite exceeding analyst expectations. The legacy tech company announced it would cut 3,900 jobs. Tesla shares, meanwhile, jumped 7% after posting record revenue and better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Airline earnings rolled out with Southwest falling on a larger-than-expected loss fueled by its holiday meltdown. American Airlines rose on a fourth-quarter beat. “Clearly, we’re moving through the heart of earnings season at this point,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank. “There has been some positive news and some less positive news.” Investors are also keeping an eye on jobless claims data Thursday, the gross domestic product, and durable goods and new home sales. Wall Street is coming off a mixed session. The Dow ended Wednesday up 0.03% after dropping more than 400 points earlier. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 dipped just 0.18% and 0.02%, respectively. Elsewhere, Chevron added almost 3% after announcing a $75 billion share repurchasing program. Asia-Pacific shares were mostly higher Thursday as investors digested a slew of economic data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 2.17%, and the Hang Seng Tech Index jumped 3.96%, leading gains in the region. The Nikkei 225 and Topix both dipped 0.12% to close at 27,362.75 and 1,878.4 respectively following the release of the Bank of Japan’s summary of opinions from last week’s meeting. The Japanese yen last stood at 129.48 against the U.S. dollar. The Kospi rose 1.6% to end at 2,468.and the Kosdaq added 0.69% even as South Korea’s gross domestic product shrank 0.4% in the fourth quarter, marking the first contraction in more than two years. Markets in China and Australia are closed for a holiday. Oil prices rose 1% on Thursday on expectations that demand will strengthen as top oil importer China reopens its economy and on news U.S. crude inventories have risen less than expected. Brent crude futures rose 78 cents, or 0.9%, to $86.90 a barrel by 1046 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 75 cents, or 0.9%, at $80.90. Gold prices hit a nine-month high on Thursday before trading slightly lower, as investors hunkered down for U.S. economic data that could influence the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening path. Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,937.16 per ounce, after hitting its highest since April 2022. U.S. gold futures were down 0.3% at $1,937.60.
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