By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Thursday, continuing the previous session’s late gains with sentiment boosted by reduced fears of a potential debt default.
At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 235 points, or 0.7%, S&P 500 Futures traded 35 points, or 0.8%, higher, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 150 points, or 1%.
The major indices closed higher Wednesday, overturning earlier sharp losses after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put forward a compromise of a short-term suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling to avert a national default.
The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100 points, or 0.3%, after reversing an earlier loss of more than 400 points. The S&P 500 advanced 0.4%, after falling as much as 1.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5%, overturning an earlier 1.2% loss.
Earlier this week Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a default would cause “irreparable” harm, citing a likely financial crisis and recession.
Stock markets have been very volatile of late, driven by uncertainty surrounding the country’s economic recovery. The sharp rise in energy prices has led to concerns that add to inflationary pressures, stifling growth while prompting the Federal Reserve to move up the tightening of its accommodative policies.
That said, U.S. companies added more jobs than forecast in September, according to data from the ADP Research Institute, released Wednesday, with private payrolls rising by 568,000 in August, the most since June.
The ADP numbers are a prelude to a bigger reading of nonfarm employment that comes out Friday. Ahead of that comes the weekly initial jobless claims data, at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), which are seen falling to 348,000 for the week ending October 2 from 362,000 for the week before.
In corporate news, clothes retailer Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI) will be in focus after reporting strong quarterly numbers after the closing bell, benefiting from back-to-school demand. Cannabis company Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) also reported a solid rise in quarterly revenue.
ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG), the maker of brands such as Duncan Hines, Bird’s Eye, and Hunt’s, is scheduled to report earnings Thursday, as the market heads into the main third quarter earnings season next week.
Also helping the tone in Europe Thursday has been the move lower in energy prices, after the United States said it was considering selling oil from its strategic reserves and Russia said it was ready to stabilize the natural gas market.
By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.5% lower at $76.27 a barrel, the Brent contract fell 1% to $80.30 and Gasoline RBOB Futures dropped 0.8% to $2.2929 a gallon.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,762.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1563.