Stock futures trade higher to end the holiday-shortened week

Where to position your portfolio as COVID headlines drive markets

Seaport Securities founder Teddy Weisberg and Revere Securities chief strategist Scott Fullman discuss the economic activity to look for going into the new year.

U.S. equity futures were trading higher Thursday morning in what will be the final trading day of the week.

The major futures indexes suggest a gain of 0.2% when the opening bell rings.

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While it is a holiday-shortened week, equities will have a full trading session Thursday.

The bond market will have a shortened trading session with the market closing at 2 p.m. ET.  There will be no trading in equities or U.S. Treasuries on Christmas Eve on Friday.

Many world markets will be closed Friday in observance of Christmas.

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A slew of key economic reports are on deck Thursday morning as investors look to wrap up the week and begin their Christmas holiday.

The Labor Department is out with its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 205,000, little-changed from the previous week’s total of 206,000. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to slip by 25,000 to 1.82 million, which would be a second straight pandemic low.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE ROSY, BUT COVID, INFLATION REMAIN HEADWINDS

At the same time the Commerce Department posts personal income and spending numbers for November. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv anticipate spending to rise 0.6% month-over-month. Personal income, meantime, is expected to edge up 0.4% after a 0.5% rise in October. Core personal consumption expenditures, which remove volatile food and energy prices, are also anticipated to jump 0.4% month-over-month in November. The year-over-year change in core PCE, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, is expected to shoot up to 4.5%, which would be the highest reading in almost 33 years.

Other reports include readings on durable goods, new home sales and consumer sentiment.

In Europe, London's FTSE rose 0.2%, Germany's DAX added 0.4% and France's CAC gained 0.2%.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged 0.4% higher and China's Shanghai Composite index picked up 0.6%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES35753.89+261.19+0.74%
SP500S&P 5004696.56+47.33+1.02%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX15521.89237+180.81+1.18%

Stocks advanced Wednesday on Wall Street with encouraging reports about the potential impact of the omicron variant of coronavirus and stronger U.S. economic data.

The S&P 500 rose 1% to 4,696.56, the Nasdaq rose 1.2% to 15,521.89 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to 35,753.89. 

US ECONOMIC GROWTH REVISED UP TO 2.3% IN THIRD QUARTER, BUT STILL LAGGED PREVIOUS MONTHS

The Commerce Department on Wednesday said the U.S. economy grew at a 2.3% rate in the third quarter, slightly better than previously thought. But prospects for a solid rebound going forward are being clouded by the rapid spread of the latest variant of the coronavirus.

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In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 8 cents to $72.66 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped 2.3% on Wednesday. Brent crude, the basis for pricing international crude, fell 6 cents to $75.23 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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