Still, the benchmark indices were looking at weekly increases of nearly 2% as encouraging signs on the U.S. economy helped offset surprisingly hawkish statements from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 22 points, or 33.95 points above fair value, to 16,287, S&P 500 futures were up 3.5 points, or 5.29 points above fair value, to 1,869.5, and Nasdaq futures were up 9.3 points, or 15.68 points above fair value, to 3,700.8.
- Darden Restaurants (DRI) was down 2.62% in premarket trading after posting in-line fiscal third-quarter earnings of 82 cents a share. Tiffany (TIF) was lower by 2.38% after guiding the full year below estimates and missing fourth-quarter earnings expectations by 5 cents at $1.47 a share on a small revenue disappointment. Also, Boeing was down more than 1% after being cut to"neutral" from "buy" at Goldman Sachs.
- St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is set to give a speech on nominal GDP in Washington at 11:45 a.m. EDT.
- U.S. stocks rebounded Thursday, reversing earlier losses after a spate of housing and manufacturing data underscored the ongoing economic recovery. Markets had been lower earlier in the session, continuing their cautious tone after Fed officials indicated rates may rise faster than anticipated.
- Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.'s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at 'AAA' with stable outlooks. This rating action resolves the rating watch negative on which the ratings had been placed previously.
- International markets were higher across the board after the spate of uplifting economic reports out of the U.S. and talk of further stimulus coming from China. The FTSE 100 was up 0.39%, the DAX in Germany was higher by 0.44%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng settled up 1.2%, and the Shanghai Composite rose 2.72%.
- The markets were showing little concern about the exchange sanctions between the U.S. and Russia following Russia's move to annex Crimea given that any fallout from these actions looked unlikely to escalate to military action.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York
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