Thursday July 28th


Wall Street eyes big day of earnings

U.S. stock index futures indicated a mixed open Thursday as traders eyed a busy day of earnings. On the earnings front Colgate-Palmolive, ConocoPhillips, Ford and Mastercard are among a host of companies set to report before the bell. Alphabet, and CBS are set to report after the bell. The market will also keep the debate going on when the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike rates again, after its open markets committee provided no clues in its post-meeting statement Wednesday. It did, however, upgrade its view on the economy, and some Fed-watchers now see a possible opening for a hike in September. Others, however, are sticking to the view that December is more likely. On the data front, initial claims edged higher to 266,000. The U.S. advance June goods trade deficit was $63.3 billion. Housing vacancies are set to come out at 10:00 a.m. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $43.51 a barrel on Thursday morning, up 0.09 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $42.05, up 0.31 percent. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was down by around 0.04 percent on Thursday morning. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.13 percent lower on Thursday while in China, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.10 percent higher. Gold rose on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve stopped short at this week's policy meeting of indicating that a further increase in U.S. interest rates is on the cards for later this year. Uncertainty over the path of interest rates has held gold in check since it rallied to more than two-year highs in the wake of Britain's shock vote last month to leave the European Union. Relief that the Fed was not more explicit about rates pulled it back to a two-week high on Thursday. Spot gold was 0.2 percent higher at $1,341.60 an ounce, having ended Wednesday up 1.5 percent in the wake of the Fed statement. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were up 1.1 percent at $1,341.10.