Stock Futures Rise as Jobless Claims Dip
ECB President Mario Draghi kept interest rates unchanged at near-zero historic lows. Investors initially appeared calmed by Draghi's words as Spain and Italy worries re-emerge. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is looking to reclaim his post as the country's leader, which could frighten markets that are concerned what his re-emergence would mean for Italy's relationship with the ECB.
Spain also found itself in a precarious position as the opposition Socialist Party earlier this week called on its prime minister to step down on corruption allegations.
Gold futures for April delivery were looking to open lower by 90 cents to $1,677.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while futures for March crude oil contracts were looking higher by 26 cents to $96.88 a barrel.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 2/32, boosting the yield to 1.970%. The dollar was rising 0.24%, according to the U.S. dollar index.In corporate news, Boeing (BA) said it would propose battery design changes to minimize fire hazards for its grounded 787 Dreamliner, according to a Wall Street Journal article. The company said it hopes its embattled plane would begin to fly as soon as March. Boeing shares added 0.08% in premarket trading. Visa (V) reported first-quarter net income of $1.3 billion on revenue of $2.85 billion. The credit card company said all of its transactions totaled $14.2 billion, which was a 4% increase from last year. Shares slipped 1.3% in after hours trades on Wednesday. Credit Suisse (CS) reported a profit of 397 million Swiss francs ($435 million) in the fourth quarter of 2012, which was up from a year-earlier loss of 637 million francs. Shares were rising 1% in the premarket session. Yelp (YELP) posted a fourth-quarter loss of 8 cents a share on revenue of $41.2 million, but missed analysts expectations of a loss of 5 cents a share on $40.29 million in revenue. Shares fell 2.8% in the after hours session on Wednesday. Electronics giantSony (SNE) filed a loss for the October-December quarter of 10.7 billion yen ($115 million), which narrowed from the year-prior's loss of 158 billion yen. Depository receipts dropped 3% in premarket action.
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