Futures for U.S. markets were strongly positive Wednesday evening: investors bet the traditional Santa rally will combine with the ongoing Trump rally to keep stocks surging even as the Federal Reserve readies a rate increase.
The S&P 500 was 0.12% higher, the Dow Jones Industrials 0.16% and Nasdaq 0.23% at 9:55 p.m. EST.
Economic data released Wednesday, including a preliminary jobs report and the Fed's Beige Book, showed that growth continues in the U.S. The data supports expectations of a rate increase in December, but investors continue to be optimistic about the effects of Donald Trump's presidency on businesses.
Despite the euphoria, U.S. exchanges closed mixed Wednesday with the S&P off 0.27% and the Dow up 0.01%. Nasdaq pared 1.05%. That stands in contrast to European bourses, which closed higher across the board with Germany's Dax up 0.19%, the Cac in Paris, 0.59%, and London's FTSE, 2.23% after OPEC leaders agreed to cut production.
Asia opened the final month of the year higher early Thursday, cheering higher oil prices. Japan's Nikkei gained 2.26%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, 0.89%, the Kospi in South Korea, 0.21%, and the ASX in Australia, 0.67%, at 9:02 p.m. EST.
In oil, industry standard Brent crude continued to gain -- albeit modestly -- after shooting across the psychological $50 mark Wednesday on the back of the OPEC agreement. A barrel of Brent crude for February delivery gained 0.12% to $51.84 at 9:20 p.m. EST with a barrel of West Texas crude delivered in January going for $49.51, an increase of 0.14%.
A pound was worth $1.252 at 9:22 p.m., an increase of 0.12%, while the yen was flat at ¥ 114.335.
In after-hours trade, shares of La-Z-Boy (LZB) - Get Report were anything but lazy, leaping 5.42% to $28.20 when the furniture maker reported better-than-expected earnings after the final bell. The Monroe, Mich. recliner maker posted fiscal second-quarter earnings of $20.8 million, or 42 cents a share. FactSet analysts had expected 38 cents per share after La-Z-Boy made 41 cents a year earlier.
Revenue slid to $376.6 million from $382.9 million a year earlier, still beating forecasts of just $376 million in revenue.