Thursday December 3rd


Stock index futures turn negative amid Draghi speech

U.S. stock index futuresindicated a mixed to lower open Thursday after ECB President Mario Draghi said the asset purchase program will be extended to at least March 2017. Dow futures gave up gains to trade about 90 points lower, while the U.S. dollar index fell more than 1 percent to below 99 after hitting a plus-12-year high of 100.51 Wednesday. The euro extended earlier gains to climb above $1.08. "There doesn't seem to be a change in the amount of monthly purchases outside of the money that will be reinvested. As I and some suspected, the dollar is a sell on the news and the selling right now is sharp as the details of more QE are out are not the big bang that some had though and/or hoped for," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group said in a note. Earlier, futures pared gains slightly but continued to trade higher after the European Central Bank cut its deposit rate to negative 0.30 percent from negative 0.20 percent, while leaving the refinancing rate unchanged at 0.05 percent. Treasury yields mostly edged higher, with the 2-year yield near 0.95 percent and the 10-year yield higher at 2.22 percent. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to testify before Congress on Thursday and reiterate why the Fed believes it could raise interest rates for the first time in nine years as soon as this month. Other Fed speakers on Thursday include Fed Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer, who will speak on financial stability and shadow banks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Financial Stability Conference in Washington, D.C. In economic news, initial jobless claims rose to 269,000. Both ISM nonmanufacturing data and factory orders are due at 10:00 a.m. On the earnings front, Medtronic, Dollar General and Sears Holdings all reported before the bell. Ambarella and Five Below are among companies expected after the bell. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.71 percent higher on Thursday morning. Asian stocks trimmed losses Thursday as oil prices edged up from an over three-month low, although the mood remained cautious ahead of key economic events overseas. The Shanghai Composite stood out among Asian equities and closed firmly in positive territory, up 49 points or 1.37 percent at 3,585, as investors digested existing market conditions. The Nikkei 225 pared losses and closed flat, up 2 points or 0.01 percent to 19,940 as investors remained cautious over Japan's fragile economy. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $43.33 a barrel on Thursday, up about 2 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $40.52 a barrel, up nearly 1.5 percent as of 7:50 a.m., ET. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to meet in Vienna tomorrow. Gold steadied above an earlier near-six-year low on Thursday, as the dollar reversed gains versus the euro after the European Central Bank cut its deposit rate less than expected. Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,056.90 by 1312 GMT, rebounding from a lowest point since February 2010 touched in earlier trade at $1,045.85 an ounce.