Stocks set to rise at the open

By CNNMoney.com staff


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks were poised for gains Thursday after better-than-expected government reports on the economy and jobs front.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures all were slightly higher ahead of the opening bell. Before the reports on GDP and weekly jobless claims were released, futures were all pointing to a lower open. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

U.S. stocks finished with modest losses Wednesday, as uneasiness about the global economy continued to hang over the market and a light economic calendar gave investors little reason to jump in.

Economy: The Labor Department reported that jobless claims totaled 453,000 in the week ended Sept. 25, which was slightly better than expected.

A consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a total of 457,000 claims.

Also, the Commerce Department released its third estimate for second-quarter gross domestic product, raising it slightly to a gain of 1.7% from the previously reported 1.6%.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected the report to show no further changes after the government's last revision.

Investors are also mulling over AIG's plan to repay taxpayers and Congressional bill to impose tariffs on China because of its currency controls.

Companies: AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) took a major step toward paying back its government bailout Thursday, after announcing an agreement to pay down its debt to U.S. taxpayers. Part of this includes the insurer's plan to sell its Japan-based units for $4.8 billion.

World markets: European stocks fell in midday trading, after Ireland's central bank unveiled a bank bailout set to reach about $46 billion. Ireland's budget deficit is on track to hit 10 times the European Union guidelines for eurozone members, the central bank said.

France's CAC 40 fell 1%, Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.1% and Germany's DAX fell 0.3%.

Asian markets shares ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei fell 2% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.7%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against a broad range of currencies, including the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

On Wednesday, Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation to impose tariffs on China for undervaluing its currency, the yuan, in order to keep export prices cheap.

Gold futures for December delivery edged $3.20 higher to $1,313.50 an ounce, after hitting another intra-day trading record of $1,316.20 an ounce, earlier in the session.

Crude oil futures for November delivery rose 78 cents to $78.78 a barrel.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year bond rose, pushing down the yield to 2.49%. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.98%3.95%
15 yr fixed3.05%3.05%
5/1 ARM3.32%3.71%
30 yr refi4.05%4.03%
15 yr refi3.12%3.11%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,805.41 127.51 0.76%
Nasdaq 4,483.72 30.92 0.69%
S&P 500 1,964.58 13.76 0.71%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.00 -0.09%
Data as of 8:16am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 13.78 -0.62 -4.31%
Microsoft Corp 46.13 1.11 2.47%
Apple Inc 105.22 0.39 0.37%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.12 0.72%
Yahoo! Inc 43.50 0.90 2.11%
Data as of Oct 24

Sections

New York headlines took a straight forward and direct approach with NYC's Ebola news. More

The midterm elections are around the corner, and the economy remains a top concern. With unemployment down and inflation low, why do people still feel the economy stinks? More

Shares of Facebook recently topped $80. They've more than quadrupled from their post-IPO lows of two years ago. Can Mark Zuckerberg keep the momentum in mobile going? More

Using technology developed for the military and implemented in Iraq, schools have installed alarm systems that detect gunfire. More

If you're looking to fly this holiday season, the clock's ticking to get the best prices. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.