Stock futures pointed to a higher open as markets shook off a slump in crude oil prices.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.27%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.33%, and Nasdaq futures grew 0.34%. If the S&P 500 closes higher Thursday, it would mark its sixth straight day of gains.
Gains on Wall Street went from negligible to modest on Wednesday after Federal Reserve minutes showed a central bank comfortable with moving rates higher again. The Fed's willingness to hike rates is seen as a vote of confidence in the health of the U.S. economy. The S&P 500 rose for its fifth session in a row on Wednesday, a streak not seen since mid-February, and ended at a new record close.
Crude oil prices tumbled below $51 a barrel after Saudi Arabia dismissed the likelihood of further cuts to production. Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday that deeper cuts to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' current deal were not necessary at this time. He also said that a nine-month extension to OPEC's current production cut agreement was "highly likely" as members meet in Vienna Thursday.
Investors had widely accepted an extension to the current deal and had hoped for further action to balance global oil markets.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 1.4% to $50.70 a barrel on Thursday morning.
U.S. weekly jobless claims rose in the past week, though held around multi-year lows. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits increased by 1,000 to 234,000. The less-volatile, four-week claims average fell by 5,750 to 235,250. The monthly average hit its lowest level since April 1973.
The U.S. trade deficit in goods expanded by 3.8% in April to $67.6 billion. Advanced U.S. retail inventories declined by 0.3%, while wholesale inventories dropped 0.3%.
The latest plan from the House of Representatives to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of people without health coverage by 14 million from today's coverage level in 2018, and by 23 million by 2026, according to estimates released by Capitol Hill budget and tax analysts Wednesday. The plan would cut the deficit by $119 billion through 2026. The numbers from the Congressional Budget Office refer to the ACA repeal and replace bill passed by the House along party lines on May 4.
Analysts warned that hospital stocks could suffer if the House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare eventually becomes law, including shares of companies such as Community Health (CYH) - Get Community Health Systems Inc. Report , HCA Healthcare (HCA) - Get HCA Healthcare Inc. Report and TenetHealthcare (THC) - Get Tenet Healthcare Corporation Report .
The biggest beneficiaries among public companies are likely to be the largest health insurers, including Anthemundefined , UnitedHealth (UNH) - Get UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (DE) Report , Cigna (CI) - Get Cigna Corporation Report and Humana (HUM) - Get Humana Inc. Report .
Best Buy (BBY) - Get Best Buy Co. Inc. Report surged 11%, putting shares on track to open at their highest level since November 2006, after the electronics retailer posted unexpected growth in same-store sales over its recent quarter. Adjusted earnings increased to 60 cents from 43 cents a share and blew past consensus of 40 cents. Revenue also beat estimates. Same-store sales rose 1.6%, surprising analysts looking for a decrease of 1.3%. CEO Hubert Joly said the positive performance was tied to "strong performance in gaming, a better-than-expected result in mobile, and the improvement of overall sales trends due to the arrival of delayed federal tax refund checks."
HP (HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report rose 8% in premarket trading after edging out profit and sales estimates over its second quarter. Adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share came in a penny above consensus. Revenue increased 7% to $12.4 billion, beating expectations by $520 million.
NetApp (NTAP) - Get NetApp Inc. Report declined 5% in premarket trading despite a better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter. Adjusted earnings of 86 cents a share beat consensus by 4 cents, while revenue of $1.48 billion came in $40 million higher than targets. The company anticipates first-quarter revenue between $1.24 billion and $1.39 billion, wrapping consensus of $1.33 billion.
Dollar Tree (DLTR) - Get Dollar Tree Inc. Report was little changed after meeting analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-line over its recent quarter. Adjusted earnings of 98 cents a share on revenue of $5.29 billion came in as analysts expected. Second-quarter sales guidance of $5.18 billion to $5.28 billion wrapped consensus of $5.24 billion.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) - Get Abercrombie & Fitch Company Report climbed nearly 3% on Thursday after exceeding sales estimates. A loss of 91 cents a share widened from a loss of 59 cents in the year-ago quarter. Analysts anticipated a narrower loss of 70 cents a share. Sales of $661.1 million came in higher than a target of $651.5 million. Same-store sales declined by 3%, slightly narrower than an anticipated drop of 3.1%. Abercrombie shares spiked on Wednesday on reports of takeover interest from Cerberus and American Eagle (AEO) - Get American Eagle Outfitters Inc. Report .
Other earnings of note include Williams-Sonoma (WSM) - Get Williams-Sonoma Inc. (DE) Report , PVH (PVH) - Get PVH Corp. Report , Guess? (GES) - Get Guess? Inc. Report , Signet Jewelers (SIG) - Get Signet Jewelers Limited Report , Hormel Foods (HRL) - Get Hormel Foods Corporation Report , and Burlington Stores (BURL) - Get Burlington Stores Inc. Report .
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