U.S. Stock Futures Point to a Higher Start

U.S. stock futures edged up on Thursday with Wall Street investors curious to see whether the Dow Jones Index will be able to extend gains for the record 10th straight session.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.25%; those on NASDAQ 100 edged up 0.21% while futures on S&P 500 Index advanced 0.13%

Earlier on Wednesday, all leading U.S. benchmark indexes closed higher with Dow Jones extending its all-time high level and logging first 9 days of winning streak since 1996 after unexpectedly strong February retail sales data, further emboldened the market sentiment.

On Thursday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its weekly initial jobless claims data for the week ending March 9 at 8:30 a.m. EST.  Economists polled by Reuters are expecting 350,000 new filings compared to 340,000 new claims in the previous week.

Simultaneously, the Labor Department will also release its Producer Price Index (PPI) for the month of February. Economists’ polled by Reuters expect an increase of 0.7% in the PPI index after 0.2% gain in the previous month.

On earnings front Lifetime Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: LCUT) and Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) are scheduled to report fiscal fourth quarter results on Thursday.

Shares of Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) will be under pressure on Thursday. Although the bag maker’s earnings jumped 25% in the fiscal fourth quarter, thanks to solid revenue growth from direct-sales, its guidance on the current quarter and full-year fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Shares of Men’s Wearhouse Inc. (NYSE: MW) rallied in aftermarket hours on Wednesday after the men’s suit maker said that it has hired Jefferies & Co to evaluate possible strategic alternatives for its K&G operations. Fiscal fourth quarter results however fell short of analysts’ expectation.

In Europe, all leading benchmark indexes were trading higher while Asian equities also ended broadly higher.



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.