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Stock Futures Rise After Wal-Mart Results

The S&P and the Nasdaq appear headed for a higher open Thursday. Meanwhile, oil prices tick ahead, and the dollar is stronger. Traders await weekly jobless claims numbers.
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Premarket futures were hinting at a slightly higher open for U.S. stocks Thursday following a positive earnings statement from retail colossus




Futures for the

S&P 500

were up 4 points at 1288 and were 2.5 points ahead of fair value.


futures were up 4.5 points at 1946 and were fractionally above fair value.

On Wednesday, the major indices spent nearly all day in negative territory, pounded by somewhat discouraging retail sales data and an uptick in crude-oil prices. In advance of the new session, Wal-Mart reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates and raised its full-year profit outlook.



the Belgian brewer slated to buy



, reported improved profits and said it expected to increase its profit margins for the remainder of the year.

Garment vendor

Urban Outfitters


also announced growth in second-quarter profits and said same-store sales were swinging upward.

As for commodities, the price of crude oil was rising 40 cents to $116.40 a barrel, and gold was adding $6.80 to $838.30 an ounce.

In terms of economic data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be releasing its consumer price index for July. The Department of Labor will also issue initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 9.

U.S. Treasury securities were climbing in price. The 10-year note was adding 4/32 to yield 3.92%, and the 30-year was tacking on 10/32, yielding 4.54%. The dollar was adding value against the euro, yen and pound.

Across the seas, foreign markets were mostly gaining ground. London's FTSE, Frankfurt's DAX and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were all strengthening, while the Nikkei in Japan was ticking down.