Futures Up Ahead of Jobs Data

Futures are up Thursday morning in front of the initial jobless claims report, and retailer and tech earnings.
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Futures are up Thursday morning in front of the Jobless Claims report and retailer and tech earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up by 41 points, at 10,391. S&P 500 futures were higher by 5 points, at 10914. Nasdaq futures were up by 7, at 1844. Oil rose to over $76, on the back of a rally in Asian equities, as investors focused on the prospects for accelerating Chinese demand for natural resources.

European stocks dipped after briefly hitting a one-week high, based on investors' optimism on consumer demand. Asian shares finished the session in positive territory.

M&A continues to grab headlines in the materials sector. BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Report is focusing on getting regulatory approval for its $39 billion hostile bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) before trying in earnest to win over the Canadian company's shareholders, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

The fact that the market was up and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up yesterday, indicates that traders are in wait-and-see mode ahead of major economic data that will be released this morning. The Jobless Claims report is due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT and Leading Indicators and the Philadelphia Fed Survey, both to be released at 10:30 a.m. EDT. Consensus for Jobless Claims is 480,000, Leading Indicators expectations are for up 1% and consensus for the Philadelphia Fed Survey is for a reading of 7.0. The EIA Natural Gas report is due out at 10:30 a.m. EDT, and traders expect a build of 30 Bcfe.

Notable companies reporting today include: Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) - Get Report, Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) - Get Report, Dell (DELL) - Get Report, Gap (GPS) - Get Report, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get Report, Sears Holding (SHLD) , Staples (SPLS) , Toro (TTC) - Get Report, Towers Watson (TW) - Get Report, and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) - Get Report.

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