ISSN: 2056-3736 (Online Version) | 2056-3728 (Print Version)


U.S. stock futures rose on Thursday ahead of a weekly reading on the jobs market and a key speech from the head of the Federal Reserve on Friday. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42 points, or 0.2%, to 16992. S&P 500 futures added four points, or 0.2%, to 1987. Nasdaq-100 Index futures added five points, or 0.1%, to 4045.

Stocks have rallied over the past week, pushing the S&P 500 back near fresh record highs, ahead of signals from central bankers that could hint at the trajectory of monetary policy.

The S&P 500 notched its third straight day of gains on Wednesday, less than 0.1% below its record high of 1,987.98, hit July 24.

On Wednesday, minutes from the July Fed meeting showed that some officials believe that interest rates should be raised sooner than the consensus estimates in the market.

A host of data reports are on the way, including weekly jobless claims, which are expected to show a drop to 302,000 from 311,000 a week ago. Later, existing-home sales for July, which economists expect to hold steady. Separately, a reading on Philadelphia-area manufacturers in August is expected to show a fall to 18 from 23.9 a month earlier.

Investors are closely attuned to Friday’s speech from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen at Jackson Hole, Wyo. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is also due to speak on Friday.

Hewlett-Packard rose 0.2% in premarket trading after the technology company’s third-quarter profit beat analyst estimates late Wednesday.

United Parcel Service fell 0.2% after the company said credit-card data may have been stolen from 51 UPS Store locations across 24 states.

Hormel Foods rose 2% after the company’s earnings jumped 21%, as the packaged-foods maker reported strong profit gains and higher sales in its refrigerated-foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store segments.