Futures higher after Dow closes above 20,000


U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 20,000 milestone for the first time.

* The 42-session surge from the Dow’s first close above 19,000 marks the second-shortest length of time between such milestones.

* The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indexes also closed at record highs for the second consecutive session on Wednesday.

* The post-election rally roared back to life following optimism over U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-growth initiatives and a string of solid earnings reports.

* Trump’s business-friendly decisions since taking office on Friday include signing executive orders to reduce regulatory burden on domestic manufacturers and clearing the way for the construction of two oil pipelines.

* Earnings are expected to rise 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, their biggest increase in two years. Of the 104 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, nearly 70 percent have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* PayPal and Caterpillar are scheduled to report before market opens, while tech giants Intel, Alphabet and Microsoft report after the close.

* Investors are also eyeing economic data, including weekly jobless claims. The data, which is expected to show an increase in claims, is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

* The Commerce Department will release U.S. single-family home sales numbers for December that is expected to have dipped slightly from the previous month. The report is expected at 10 a.m. ET

* Oil prices were higher, driven up by a weakening dollar, though gains were capped by plentiful supplies and bulging inventories despite efforts by OPEC and other producers to cut output to prop up the market.

* Biogen shares fell 5.7 percent to $257.72 in premarket trading after the drugmaker’s quarterly profit fell 22 percent.

* EBay jumped 6.5 percent to $32.20, a day after the e-commerce company reported a rise in revenue for the fourth-quarter holiday period.

* Whirlpool fell 1.1 percent to $188.05 after the world’s largest maker of home appliances posted a quarterly profit that came in below expectations.

Futures snapshot at 6:50 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 35 points, or 0.17 percent, with 21,192 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 1.25 points, or 0.05 percent, with 99,525 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 10.75 points, or 0.21 percent, on volume of 19,893 contracts.





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