Stocks retained an upward bias early Thursday as strong overseas sessions and the absence of any major economic headwinds left buyers in control.
Index futures recently showed both the
and Nasdaq 100 trading 2 points above fair value. The 10-year Treasury note was unchanged in price to yield 5.15%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.
Foreign stocks rose, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 1% to 5723 and Germany's Xetra DAX gaining 0.9% to 5551. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rallied 3.4% overnight to 15,136, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1% to 15,827.
In New York Wednesday, solid earnings in the transportation and brokerage sectors lifted the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500 by 1% and the
by 1.6%. The rally moved the S&P 500 back into positive territory for the year, although it remains down about 1.4% since the start of June.
Helping stocks has been relative quiet from the
in the runup to a two-day meeting that starts in Washington next Wednesday. Economic data has also been light. On Thursday, investors will see first-time jobless claims and the index of leading economic indicators for May.
Most commodity prices were higher Thursday. Crude, which jumped nearly a dollar Wednesday on lingering tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions, was up another 61 cents to $70.94 a barrel Thursday. Gold gained $5 to $596 an ounce, while copper added 12.5 cents to $3.24 a pound and silver gained 12 cents to $10.54 an ounce.
reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, within the range of guidance that was cut one week ago. Executives of the semiconductor company also said they planned unspecified job cuts and plant closings and disclosed a subpoena in the stock options backdating probe.
To view Ana Dane's video take on today's premarket action, click here
Bed Bath & Beyond's
first-quarter earnings rose 2% to $100.4 million, or 35 cents a share, matching estimates. Shares fell after executives on a conference call pegged full year net at $2.17 a share, 2 cents below Wall Street estimates.
executive reportedly says the automaker is trending toward a "good second quarter." Wire reports quoted GM vice president for global purchasing Bo Andersson speaking at an industry conference in Vienna.
reports fourth-quarter earnings after the bell. Analysts are looking for net income of 28 cents a share on revenue of $4.74 billion. In early ratings news, Lehman raised
to overweight, while Merrill Lynch upped
to buy from neutral.