NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A lot of good news today for those who argue that the U.S. economy is showing signs of improvement, and that eventually growth can proceed even as the Federal Reserve curbs its stimulus program.
U.S. stock futures were turning higher Thursday as data showed the U.S. economy grew more than expected in the third quarter while the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to stimulate growth and U.S. jobless claims fell.
U.S. third quarter gross domestic product rose 2.8%, according to an advanced estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That was above both the average economist estimate of 2% and the second quarter's 2.5% growth.
Futures for the S&P 500 were gaining 5.5 points, or 4.91 points above fair value, to 1,771. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were surging 69 points, or 62.12 points above fair value, to 15,752. Futures for the Nasdaq were popping 5 points, or 0.62 points above fair value, to 3,381.
The European Central Bank on Thursday slashed its benchmark interest rate to new record low of 0.25%, down from 0.5%, in a fight against deflation and weakness in the eurozone economy.
Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to 336,000 in the week ending November 2, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists were expecting a slip to 335,000.
Thursday brings the consumer credit report for September as well, from the Federal Reserve at 3 p.m.
Eyes were also on Twitter, which will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange after its initial public offering was priced $26 a share. The San Francisco-based company sold $1.82 billion in shares, or just more than 12% of its outstanding stock, in an offering that gives the micro-blogging site a valuation of roughly $14.2 billion.Twitter will trade under symbol 'TWTR.'