On Thursday morning, U.S. index futures indicate a modestly positive opening, in anticipation of the release of important economic indicators from the retail and industrial sectors.

At 05:55 AM, the futures for the Dow Jones (DOWI:DJI) rose by 50 points, or 0.13%. The S&P 500 futures increased by 0.09%, and the Nasdaq-100 futures went up by 0.07%. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was at 4.228%.

In the commodities market, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil for March fell by 0.59%, to $76.19 per barrel. Brent crude for April dropped by 0.60%, near $81.11 per barrel.

The U.S. economic agenda is filled with important indicators that could influence market expectations.

Starting at 08:30 AM, data on weekly unemployment insurance claims will be released, with the LSEG consensus anticipating about 220,000 requests, reflecting the current labor market conditions. At the same time, attention will turn to January’s retail sales, with an expected slight monthly decrease of 0.1%, which may signal consumers’ willingness to spend amidst an uncertain economic landscape. January’s import prices will also be announced, offering insights into external inflationary pressures.

At 09:15 AM, January’s industrial production will be revealed, with the LSEG consensus projecting modest growth of 0.3%, indicative of the health of the industrial sector. Finally, at 10 AM, December’s business inventories will be published, providing a view on the balance between supply and demand in the business sector.

At Wednesday’s close, U.S. stocks saw a turnaround, with indices recovering some of the earlier losses. The Nasdaq led the gains, while the Dow Jones rose by 0.40% and the S&P 500 gained 0.96%. The recovery reflected the search for buying opportunities, despite inflation concerns. The technology sector led the rebound, while individual stocks like Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) and Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) recorded significant gains. On the other hand, Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) saw its shares plunge after reporting revenues below expectations. The computer hardware and tobacco sectors showed strength, pushing the market upward.

Asian markets presented mixed results, with the highlight being Japan’s Nikkei 225, which rose by 1.21%, surpassing 38,000 points for the first time since 1990. This achievement comes amid news that Japan lost its position as the world’s third-largest economy to Germany, after entering a technical recession. South Korea’s Kospi experienced a slight decline, the Shanghai stock exchange remained closed for a holiday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Australia’s ASX 200 rose by 0.41% and 0.77%, respectively.

European markets are showing gains as investors assess the UK’s fourth-quarter GDP and monitor corporate earnings. The British economy contracted by 0.3% at the end of 2023, leading the country into a technical recession after a negative revision of third-quarter growth.

For Thursday’s quarterly earnings front, financial reports are scheduled to be presented by Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX), John Deere (NYSE:DE), Yeti (NYSE:YETI), Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN), Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN), Oatly (NASDAQ:OTLY), InterDigital (NASDAQ:IDCC), among others, before the market opens.

After the close, results from Draftkings (NASDAQ:DKNG), Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), TheTradeDesk (NASDAQ:TTD), Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), DoorDash (NYSE:DASH), Opendoor Technologies (NASDAQ:OPEN), Toast (NYSE:TOST), Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM), and more, are expected.

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