Stocks May Give Back Ground In Early Trading – U.S. Commentary

After ending the previous session modestly higher, stocks may move back to the downside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 87 points.

Profit taking may contribute to initial weakness on Wall Street following the upward trend seen over the past several sessions.

A negative reaction to earnings news from several big-name companies may also weigh on the markets early in the trading day.

Shares of eBay (EBAY) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the e-commerce giant reported better than expected second quarter earnings but provided disappointing full-year guidance.

Insurance giant Travelers (TRV) is also likely to come under pressure after reporting second quarter earnings below analyst estimates.

Shares of American Express (AXP) may also move to the downside after the credit card giant reported second quarter earnings that beat expectations but on weaker than expected revenues.

On the other hand, shares of IBM Corp. (IBM) are seeing pre-market strength after the tech giant reported second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report this morning showing initial jobless claims unexpected dropped to their lowest level in almost five decades in the week ended July 14th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 207,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 215,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 202,000 in December of 1969.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of June. The leading economic index is expected to climb by 0.4 percent.

Stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading session on Wednesday after initially showing a lack of direction. The Dow reached its best closing level in a month, while the S&P 500 rose to a more than five-month closing high.

While the Dow and the S&P 500 closed in positive territory, the Nasdaq edged down 0.67 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 7,854.44. The Dow rose 79.40 points or 0.3 percent to 25,199.29 and the S&P 500 ticked up 6.07 points or 0.2 percent to 2,815.62.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slipped by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading crude oil futures are sliding $0.48 to $68.28 a barrel after climbing $0.68 to $68.76 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,212.30, down $15.60 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,227.90. On Wednesday, gold inched up $0.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.07 yen compared to the 112.86 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1587 compared to yesterday’s $1.1639.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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