The major U.S.
index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Thursday, with sentiment
reflecting apprehensions among traders concerning the overbought levels of the
markets amid the uncertainties surrounding the domestic economic and monetary
policy environment and overseas risks. An economic report released short while
ago showed that jobless claims unexpectedly rose. The dollar is firming up
despite the lukewarm data and commodities are mostly lower. The domestic
markets may also draw inspiration from the pending home sales data due after
the markets open and a Fed speech scheduled for the day.
U.S. stocks advanced strongly on Wednesday amid bargain hunting even as the
dollar firmed up on rate hike fears, with the Nasdaq Composite closing at a
fresh record high. The major averages opened higher and advanced sharply in the
afternoon before beginning a steady climb for the rest of the session.
The Dow Industrials added 121.45 points or 0.67 percent before closing
at 18,163 and the S&P 500 Index ended up 19.28 points or 0.92 percent
at 2,124, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended at 5,107, up 73.84
points or 1.47 percent.
Twenty-six of the thirty Dow components advanced in the session, while the
remaining four stocks retreated. Apple, Goldman Sachs, IBM,
Home Depot, Microsoft and Visa were among the
biggest gainers of the session.
Among the sectors, transportation, biotechnology, retail, semiconductor,
computer hardware and financial stocks saw significant strength
on the day.