U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade, ahead of earnings from YUM! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) and Kellogg Company (NYSE: K). The People's Republic of China announced plans to cut tariffs on hundreds of the United States imports worth about $75 billion by half. The Challenger job-cut report for January is scheduled for released at 7:30 a.m. ET. Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week and nonfarm productivity for the fourth quarter will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Federal Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan is set to speak at 9:15 a.m. ET, while Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles will speak at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 91 points to 29,332 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded rose 8.5 points to 3,343.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index surged 34 points to 9,415.50.
Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.2% to trade at $55.37 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 1% to trade at $51.23 a barrel. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.6%, STOXX Europe 600 Index gaining 0.3% and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.7%. The UK's FTSE index was trading higher by 0.3%, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.6%.
In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 2.38%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 2.64%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.72% and India’s BSE Sensex rose 0.4%.
Analysts at Bernstein upgraded VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) from Market Perform to Outperform and raised the price target from $171 to $181.
VMware shares fell 1.3% to close at $151.56 on Wednesday.
- Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) posted better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.
- QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) reported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter.
- GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO) reported weaker-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.
- FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE) reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter, but issued weak outlook.