Stock Futures Edge Higher

U.S. stock futures inched higher on Thursday, taking cues from European equities that turned higher after the Bank of England (BOE) kept benchmark interest rate unchanged.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is also scheduled to announce its policy rate statement at 7:45 EST. It is expected that the monetary union’s central bank will keep the benchmark rate unchanged at 0.75%.

At around 7:00 a.m. EST, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.18%; those on NASDAQ 100 added 0.12% while futures on S&P 500 Index tacked higher 0.13%.

The U.S. Labor Department’s is scheduled to release its weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, Economists polled by Briefing.com are expecting 360,000 first-time claims in the week ending February 2, down from 368,000 in the last week.

Also at the same time, a data on the productivity of the U.S. business for the fourth quarter is due for a release. Economists polled by MarketWatch are expecting productivity to fall by 1.5%.

On earnings front, Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) is scheduled to report quarterly results ahead of the morning bell while professional networking site, LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) will announce results after the closing bell.

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) will be under spotlight. Although fiscal first quarter earnings topped company’s own earlier guidance, its full-year outlook on sales is lackluster. The company said that coffee industry is now translating into mature industry hence the pace growth will slow down.

Shares of French telecom giant, Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE: ALU) rallied in premarket hours after the beleaguered company also announced that its Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen will be leaving from his post. The Company swung into a loss of €1.37 billion or $1.85 billion, for the fiscal 2012.

Elsewhere in Asia all leading benchmark indexes closed lower with Nikkei falling 0.93%, and Hong kong’s Hang Seng edging down 0.34%.

 

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.

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