Thursday June 25th


U.S. stock markets were expected to open higher on Thursday, unwinding some of the previous day's losses, with focus remaining on the crisis in Greece and latest economic numbers. Equity index futures market futures were broadly higher in European session, with Dow Jones industrial average futures up more than 80 points, even as European shares fell amid Greek jitters, before trading 64 points higher. Talks between Greece and its global creditors to secure a cash-for-reforms deals and avert a debt default stumbled on Wednesday. A two-day European Union summit starts on Thursday, with talks expected to continue there. Without a deal, Greece is expected to default on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) debt payment to the International Monetary Fund next week. A default could speak run on banks and raises the risk of Greece exiting the euro zone. "Both sides are once again as apart as they can be and the hope of reaching any deal before the 30th of this month has faded once again," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said in a note. "So, if the Greek government does not make any payment to the IMF by that date, we have serious trouble in hand and this will rattle the equity market around the globe," he said. Weekly jobless claims came in at 271,000, slightly below analysts expectations of 272,000. personal income rose 0.5 percent in May. Any indication in the data that inflation is picking up could stir talk that the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates sooner rather than later. U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors weighed the renewed impasse in the Greece talks, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing almost 1 percent lower. Ben Lichtenstein, president of told CNBC earlier on Thursday, that he was still bullish on the outlook for U.S. stocks. "I am a big fan of the trend and clearly the trend is still to the upside," he said. Elsewhere, the U.S. Treasury auctions $29 billion of 7-year notes at 1 p.m. ET. A slew of companies reported quarterly earnings, including Accenture and Winnebago, both of which beat analysts' expectations. Nike, Micron and Synnex report earnings after the market closes. Mainland shares endured a sharp selloff late Thursday, while other regional bourses saw lackluster trade after negotiations between Greece and its creditors hit a stalemate overnight. Nikkei slips 0.5%. Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated from Wednesday's 18-year high as traders took profits after the recent rally. Crude oil prices steadied near $60 a barrel on Thursday as strong demand for oil products helped balance a global overhang of oil for immediate delivery. Brent for August delivery was down 16 cents at $63.33 a barrel by 9:03 a.m. EDT (1148 GMT), after ending the previous day down 96 cents, or 1.5 percent. U.S. crude for delivery in August was down 46 cents at $59.81 a barrel, after finishing Wednesday down 74 cents, or 1.2 percent. Gold steadied on Thursday after four days of losses, as tensions over Greece's negotiations with its creditors were offset by caution over gold's longer-term outlook. Expectations that the Federal Reserve is set to carry out the first U.S. interest rate increase in nearly a decade, boosting the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, has weighed on gold this year, keeping it in a narrow range. Spot gold was at $1,173.50 an ounce, down 0.1 percent, while U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down 20 cents at $1,172.70. Spot prices hit a two-week low of $1,171.03 on Wednesday.