U.S. Stocks May Move Back To The Upside On Upbeat Earnings News

Following the pullback seen in the previous session, stocks are likely to move back to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 161 points.

The markets may benefit from a positive reaction to the latest earnings news from big-name companies like IBM Corp. (IBM) and AT&T (T).

Shares of IBM are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after the tech giant reported better than expected third quarter results and raised its full-year revenue guidance.

Telecom giant AT&T is also likely to see initial strength after reporting third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Meanwhile, shares of Tesla (TSLA) may come under pressure after the electric vehicle maker reported mixed third quarter results and lowered its full-year delivery target.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged lower in the week ended October 15th.

The report showed initial jobless claims slipped to 214,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 226,000.

The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 230,000 from the 228,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed a continued contraction in regional manufacturing activity in the month of October.

The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current activity inched up to a negative 8.7 in October from a negative 9.9 in September, but a negative reading still indicates a contraction. Economists had expected the index to climb to a negative 5.0.

Not long after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales in the month of September.

Existing home sales are expected to slump by 2.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.70 million in September after slipping by 0.4 percent to a rate of 4.80 million in August.

The Conference Board is also due to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of September. The leading economic index is expected to dip by 0.3 percent.

After a positive start to the week, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Wednesday. The major averages fluctuated early in the session but slid more firmly into negative territory as the day progressed.

The major averages climbed well off their worst levels late in the session but remained in the red. The Dow dipped 99.99 points or 0.3 percent to 30,423.81, the Nasdaq slid 91.89 points or 0.9 percent to 10,680.51 and the S&P 500 fell 24.82 points or 0.7 percent to 3,695.16.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are seeing modest strength on the day. While the German DAX Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both up by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.66 to $87.21 a barrel after surging $2.73 to $85.55 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after slumping $21.60 to $1,634.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $7.60 to $1,641.80 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 149.84 yen versus the 149.90 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $0.9817 compared to yesterday’s $0.9773.

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