BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The Jobless claims for the week, Retail Sales report, as well as Business Inventories report are the major economic announcements on Thursday that might have an impact on investor sentiments.
Network giant Cisco will be reporting earnings after the close of trading today.
Asian shares closed in the red, while European shares are trading positive. Initial signs from the U.S. Futures Index point to a positive opening for Wall Street.
As of 7.35 am ET, the Dow futures were adding 103 points, the S&P 500 futures were up 9.00 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were gaining 31.00 points.
U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday. The Dow climbed 117.51 points or 0.5 percent to 25,543.27, the Nasdaq inched up 5.76 points or 0.1 percent to 7,420.38 and the S&P 500 rose 8.30 points or 0.3 percent to 2,753.03.
On the economic front, the Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week will be issued at 8.30 am ET. The economists are looking for consensus of 225K while it was 234K in the previous week.
The Producer Price Index or PPI-FD for January will be issued at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for an increase of 0.2 percent, while if declined 0.2 percent in the prior month.
The Commerce Department's Retail Sales report for December will be revealed at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for a growth of 0.1 percent, versus an increase of 0.2 percent in the previous month.
The Commerce Department's Business Inventories report for November will be issued at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for a moderate increase of 0.2 percent, while it grew 0.6 percent in October.
The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Natural Gas Report for the week will be published at 10.30 am ET. In the prior week, the change was decline of 237 bcf.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker will deliver a speech about 'Approaches to Leadership' at the 3rd Annual Lerner MBA Student Association Conference in Newark, DE, with audience Q&A at 11.00 am ET.
Two -year Treasury Note auction will be held at 11.00 am ET. The 30-year Treasury inflation-indexed securities or TIPS auction will be held at 11.00 pm ET.
The Fed Balance Sheet for the week is expected at 4.30 pm ET. In the previous week, the level was $4.026 trillion.
The Fed Money Supply for week is scheduled at 4.30 pm ET. The M2 weekly change was $54.3 billion.
In the corporate sector, Nestle SA reported that its net profit for fiscal year 2018 attributable to shareholders of the parent grew by 41.6 percent to 10.14 billion Swiss francs from 7.16 billion francs last year. Earnings per share increased 45.5 percent to 3.36 francs from 2.31 francs a year ago.
Total reported sales increased by 2.1 percent to 91.44 billion francs from 89.59 billion francs last year. Organic growth was 3.0 percent, with continued strong real internal growth or RIG of 2.5 percent and pricing of 0.5 percent.
Beverages giant Coca-Cola Company reported a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss in the year-ago period that included a hefty one-time charge related to the U.S. tax reform. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter matched analysts' expectations, while revenues beat their estimates.
Fourth-quarter net income attributable to shareowners of Coca-Cola was $870 million or $0.20 per share, compared to net loss of $2.75 billion or $0.65 per share in the previous-year quarter.
Asian stocks ended lower on Thursday. Chinese exports and imports data for January easily topped expectations. China's Shanghai Composite index finished marginally lower at 2,719.70 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slid 0.23 percent to 28,432.05.
Chinese exports grew 9.1 percent in January from a year earlier, while imports declined 1.5 percent.
Japanese shares ended on a flat note. GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Nikkei average finished marginally lower at 21,139.71. The broader Topix index ended with a positive bias at 1,589.81.
Australian markets ended little changed. Both the S&P/ASX 200 index and the All Ordinaries index ended marginally lower at 6,059.40 and 6,139.60, respectively.
European shares are trading higher. CAC 40 of France is adding 33.07 points or 0.65 percent. DAX of Germany is progressing 26.19 points or 0.24 percent. FTSE 100 of England is gaining 26.30 points or 0.36 percent. Swiss Market Index is up 62.21 points or 0.68 percent.
Euro Stoxx 50 that provides a Blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in the Eurozone, is up 0.32 percent.
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