Stock futures traded narrowly higher early Thursday as earnings reports rolled in and the European Central Bank announced no change to its monetary policy. While the German DAX Index has crept 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. On Tuesday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq booked its first record close since June 8. The NASDAQ Composite Index rose 0.64% and closed the day at 6,385.04.
US Stocks closed on record highs on Wednesday's trade as investors digested a batch of corporate earnings.
China's major share indexes rebounded on Wednesday as investors piled into blue chips after robust economic growth data and on expectations that Beijing is stepping up efforts to reform lumbering and inefficient state companies. Housing starts also beat their estimate with a 1.22 million unit boost. IBM's stock was cutting about 45 points from the price-weighed blue-chip Dow after the technology giant reported a year-over-year sales decline for the 21st consecutive quarter, disappointing Wall Street. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 2.270%. Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares jumped $27.53, or 21%, to $159.69 - the biggest percentage increase in the S&P 500 on Wednesday - after the company said three of its cystic-fibrosis drugs in development showed promise in early clinical trials treating the progressive lung disorder. Union Pacific (UNP.N) fell 1.3%, while Kansas City Southern (KSU.N) fell 0.6%.
-The British pound retreated 0.2 percent to $1.302.
Initial weekly United States employment claims fell by 15,000 during the week ending on 15 July, a new cycle and record low (consensus: 245,000), according to the Department of Labor.
Property and casualty insurer Travelers was down 1.7 percent after reporting a drop in quarterly profit. Discovery gained 4.3 percent and Viacom won 2.6 percent.
-Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8 percent as bank shares climbed. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index was down 1% at 9.79. Analysts said new capital requirements looked fairly benign. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.6 percent.
The strength of the yen limited Japan's Nikkei to a rise of 0.1 per cent.