Stocks set for a bounce

By CNNMoney.com staff


NEW YORK(CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks were set to rise at Thursday's open as investors set their sights on recouping some of the losses from the previous session's selloff.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher.

Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

Wall Street took a dive Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress the outlook for the economy was "unusually uncertain."

But investors appeared more positive Thursday, taking the view that the selling was overdone.

"The strong selloff at the end of the day yesterday is bringing the bargain hunters in this morning," said David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Markets. "But an air of caution remains, and the big concern is still that the economic recovery is more fragile than we first thought, so investors will be looking for reassurance today."

Companies: AmeriCredit (ACF) surged 23% in pre-market trading after General Motors said it will buy the automobile financing company for $3.5 billion.

Shares of Xerox (XRX, Fortune 500) climbed more than 6% before the market open after the copier maker reported second-quarter earnings that topped forecasts.

Companies due to report their latest financial results after Thursday's close includeMicrosoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) and American Express (AXP, Fortune 500).

Economy: The Labor Department said 464,000 Americans filed for their first week of unemployment insurance last week, up 37,000 from the previous week. Economists were expecting the 445,000 initial claims, according to a consensus estimate from Briefing.com.

A reading on existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors is due after the market open. Sales are expected to have fallen to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.09 million units in June, down from a 5.66 million unit rate in May.

An index of leading economic indicators, viewed as a gauge of the economy's future performance, is also on tap. Economists expect the index to have slipped 0.4% in June after rising 0.4% in May.

World markets: European markets got off to a positive start. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1%, France's CAC 40 jumped 1.8% and the DAX in Germany gained 1.6% in morning trading.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei index lost 0.6%. But the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng both ended the session higher.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar was down against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

U.S. light crude oil for September delivery rose 33 cents to $76.89 a barrel.

COMEX gold's August contract fell $4.70 to $1,187.10 per ounce.

Bonds: Treasury prices fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up to 2.91% from 2.89% late Wednesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

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