Thursday December 1st


US stock futures flat after jobless claims; oil rises around 2 percent

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Thursday as traders digested economic data and corporate earnings, while oil prices rose. On Wednesday, OPEC agreed to its first oil production cut in eight years, triggering a rally in oil prices. In commodity markets on Thursday, Brent crude traded at around $52.87 a barrel, while U.S. crude was around $50.44 a barrel. On the data front Thursday, initial jobless claims came in at 268,000, above an expected 253,000. Other data due Thursday includes the manufacturing PMI at 9:45 a.m. The ISM index and construction spending are set to come out at 10 a.m. ET, while vehicle sales are also due to be released on Thursday. On the earnings front, Dollar General and Kroger both reported before the bell. Ulta Salon, Workday, Ambarella and Five Below are among companies due to report after the bell. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.52 percent lower on Thursday. In Asia, the Shanghai composite in China closed 0.74 percent higher on Thursday, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 1.12 percent higher. Gold fell to its lowest since February on Thursday, extending losses after its biggest monthly decline in more than three years, as a surge in oil prices boosted bond yields, denting interest in non-yielding gold as an alternative investment. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,169.27 an ounce at 7:15 a.m. EDT, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery were down 0.26 percent an ounce at $1,170.80.