Thursday March 17th


Futures hold lower amid data

U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Thursday as traders eyed the release of several pieces of data and continued digesting the Federal Reserve's decision. The Fed kept rates unchanged and lowered its projection of four hikes this year down to two. Weekly jobless claims came in at 265,000. The March Philly Fed index was 12.4 versus minus 2.8 for February. Fourth-quarter current account data showed a deficit of $125.3 billion. The U.S. dollar index held lower but off session lows, with the euro just below $1.13 and the yen at 111.82 yen against the greenback. Treasury yields held lower, with the 10-year yield at 1.88 percent. The 2-year Treasury yield briefly turned higher, trading near 0.86 percent as of 8:34 a.m. ET. Gold extended sharp gains seen in Wednesday's post-settle electronic trade, up $37 at $1,267.10 an ounce in morning trade ET. Leading indicators and January's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for are set to be released at 10:00 a.m. Expected earnings Thursday include Lands' End and Adobe Systems. Most Asian markets advanced Thursday as investors cheered clarity from the U.S. Federal Reserve and a rise in oil prices, but Japan shares lost ground as the yen strengthened. Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.22 percent, or 38.07 points, at 16,936.38, extending its fall over the previous two sessions, as the yen strengthened against the dollar and Japan's February exports fell. Chinese markets traded higher; with the Shanghai composite closed up 1.22 percent, or 35.113 points, to 2,905.543 and the Shenzhen composite rose 3.562 percent, or 60.965 points, to 1,772.43. Oil rose towards $41 a barrel on Thursday, trading close to a 2016 high, bolstered by a plan among some of the world's biggest producers to meet next month to discuss supporting the market. OPEC and non-OPEC producers including the top two exporters, Saudi Arabia and Russia, will hold talks on April 17 in Qatar over a plan to freeze output, increasing the likelihood of the first global supply deal in 15 years. Brent crude was up 30 cents at $40.63 a barrel. It has rallied over 50 percent from a 12-year low of $27.10 in January and reached a 2016 peak of $41.48 on March 8. U.S. crude was up 40 cents at $38.86 a barrel.