Stocks gear up for gains

September 15, 2011: 8:59 AM ET

Click chart for more premarket data.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were headed for modest gains Thursday open as investors considered lukewarm reports on U.S. inflation and unemployment claims.

Trading has been choppy for weeks now, as investors fret about Europe's debt crisis.

"The challenges will continue to mount for Greece and for Europe in the weeks ahead, but this reduces the immediate risk of a financial disaster," Deutsche Bank credit strategist Jim Reid said in a note to investors.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were up between 0.4% and 0.7% ahead of the opening bell. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Stocks ended sharply higher Wednesday following a choppy start, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy calmed jittery investors by insisting that Greece would remain a eurozone member and would achieve its fiscal targets.

The upbeat tone spilled over into European markets Thursday.

Britain's FTSE (FTSE) 100 gained 2%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany added 2.4% and France's CAC (CAC) 40 rose 2.6%.

Investors have been parsing news about Europe's debt crisis for weeks, making for choppy trading sessions.

Europe's debt crisis: 5 things you need to know

Economy: The Consumer Price Index showed prices rose at an annual rate of 3.8% in August.

The government's weekly report on initial claims for jobless benefits came in higher than expected, with claims rising to 428,000 in the latest week, from 414,000. Economist had expected a modest decline.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey worsened to -8.86 in Septemer is from -7.7 in August.

Government data on industrial production and capacity utilization for August are due at 9:15 a.m. ET

Also out at 10 a.m. ET is the Philadelphia Fed index for September, a regional reading on manufacturing. The index is forecast to climb to negative 10 from negative 30.7 the previous month.

Companies: UBS (UBS) shares traded in the United States plunged 10.3% in premarket trading after the Swiss bank said unauthorized trading resulted in about $2 billion in losses.

While UBS said no client positions were affected by the loss, the investment bank cautioned that it could report a third-quarter loss as a result.

Netflix (NFLX) shares fell 15.1% after the company reduced its forecast for third quarter subscriptions in the United States.

World markets: Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) fell 0.2%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong added 0.7% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) gained 1.8%.

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

Oil for October delivery gained 20cents to $89.11 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery fell $38 to $1,788.50 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 2.1% from 2% late Wednesday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,580.89 119.19 0.49%
Nasdaq 7,692.82 -20.14 -0.26%
S&P 500 2,754.88 5.12 0.19%
Treasuries 2.90 0.00 0.10%
Data as of 10:08am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Comcast Corp 33.81 1.02 3.11%
Bank of America Corp... 28.99 -0.30 -1.02%
General Electric Co 13.05 0.29 2.27%
AT&T Inc 31.69 0.09 0.28%
Micron Technology In... 57.10 -2.34 -3.94%
Data as of Jun 22
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