Thursday October 26th


Futures point to a higher open ahead of Alphabet, Amazon earnings

U.S. stock index futures are expected to begin Thursday's trade on a relatively higher note, as investors gear up for another slew of major corporate earnings. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 46 points, while S&P 500 futures gained 2.75 points. Corporate earnings continue to flood in, with a whole host of firms set to publish their latest financial figures. Twitter, Comcast, Ford, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Southwest Airlines are just a few that have reported before the bell. Alphabet, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Mattel, Expedia are some of the major names set to report earnings after the bell. In data news, jobless claims and advance economic indicators kick off the day with both releases coming out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Shortly after, pending home sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey will then be release at 11 a.m. ET. Central banks will also be of key importance on Thursday, as investors await news on the U.S. Federal Reserve. Discussion of who will take on the role of Fed Chair in early 2018 will also remain a key topic of conversation among investors Thursday. In a Reuters poll published recently, a slight majority of economists are expecting Fed Governor Jerome Powell to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve. The survey also showed that many respondents saw current Chair Janet Yellen as being the best option. Elsewhere, tax reform is still expected to lurk at the back of investors' minds, after the Senate passed a budget proposal last week that allowed Republicans to move closer to eventually passing tax reform. A Capitol Hill source told CNBC earlier this week that House Republicans aim to introduce their tax bill at the start of November. Looking to the energy market, oil prices were under slight pressure in early trade, with U.S. crude trading around $52.25 at 8:29 a.m. ET, while Brent hovered around $58.39 per barrel. In markets news, U.S. stocks had their worst day in two months during the previous session, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 112 points by the close. Overseas, European stocks were slightly higher during morning trade, while markets in Asia finished mostly mixed. The Nikkei 225 edged up 0.15 percent, or 32.16 points to close at 21,739.78. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi declined 0.48 percent to close at 2,480.63 as investors digested quarterly earnings reports from blue-chip names. The Hang Seng Index was off 0.34 percent by 3:07 p.m. HK/SIN while mainland markets made moderate gains. The Shanghai Composite climbed 0.33 percent to close at 3,408.2449 and the Shenzhen Composite gained 0.249 percent to end at 2,030.3511. Gold prices fell on Thursday after the European Central Bank said it would extend its bond-buying program. Spot gold traded 0.1 percent lower at $1,276.20 per ounce. Gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $1,276.70.