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Dow Jones Industrial Average
was set a higher open Thursday while global stocks pushed higher. Investors took a key meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve Wednesday as reason to push higher and begin reversing a slump that has carried through much of September.
Dow futures were up 186 points, or 0.6% after the index rallied 338 points Wednesday to close at 34.258. Futures for the
were up 0.5% as U.S. stocks made headway in reversing some three weeks of declines across this month.
“Futures are indicating a higher open this morning as strong upward momentum continues to drive a recovery from the market’s recent selloff,” Tigress Financial’s Ivan Feinseth. “Stocks look to open higher helped by further buy the dip momentum along with reassuring comments from Fed Chair Powell that continue to show the Fed remains on the side of the Bulls.”
Investors reacted positively to Wednesday’s meeting of the Fed, where the central bank said that the slowing, or tapering, of its Covid-19 pandemic-era bond-buying program—which adds liquidity to markets—“may soon be warranted.” The Fed also indicated that interest rate hikes could be coming in 2022.
“The Fed struck a positive tone, acknowledging that the economy is strong enough to stand on its own two feet and the central bank can begin removing the monetary stimulus that they’ve been providing since the beginning of the Covid crisis,” said Chris Zaccarelli, the chief investment officer at asset manager Independent Advisor Alliance.
“We weren’t surprised to see the Fed tee up November as the likely beginning of tapering as they have previously highlighted the higher-than-expected inflation numbers and were only waiting for the job market to improve before beginning to reduce their bond purchases,” Zaccarelli added.
Analysts noted that Fed Chair Jerome Powell successfully communicated to markets that tighter monetary policy was ahead without spooking stocks. Investors have been closely watching the Fed for indications about the pace of tapering, and clues that it could come sooner rather than later has in the past caused wobbles.
“Powell continues to walk the line between guiding the market to expect tightening without unduly worrying investors,” said Neil Wilson, an analyst at broker Markets.com.
Overseas, the Hang Seng Index rose 1.1% as Hong Kong traders returned from a holiday. The slow-drip of news concerning the future of
China Evergrande Group—the world’s most indebted property developer, whose looming failure has threatened contagion in other markets—continued, but with a slightly more positive slant.
Chinese regulators told Evergrande representatives in a recent meeting that it should prioritize finishing properties under development and repaying retail investors while it avoids a near-term default on offshore bonds, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company faces an $83.5 million bond coupon payment Thursday, which has a 30-day grace period, the report said.
Authorities in China are also asking local governments to prepare for the potential downfall of Evergrande, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
“[The] Evergrande crisis has fallen to the wayside for advanced equities as a concern, driven by an army of analysts with rose-tinted glasses and likely a well-timed activity by the sovereign plunge pool,” writes Nordea strategist Sebastien Galy.
Evergrande (3333.HongKong) stock rose 17.6% in Hong Kong—but remains down 81% year-to-date.
A basket of U.S. economic data is due in the day ahead, including initial jobless claims for last week, and continuing jobless claims for the week of Sept. 11. Flash Markit purchasing managers’ indexes on manufacturing and services for September are also due, as is the August Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
Here are five stocks on the move Thursday:
Hydrogen fuel cell developer
Plug Power (PLUG) rose 4.5% in U.S. premarket trading, set to extend 3.2% gains from Wednesday, amid a report from Reuters that German automobile makers were betting on a hydrogen-powered future.
Dell Technologies (DELL) has gained 3.1% after the company said it saw 3% to 4% compounded annual revenue growth through fiscal 2026.
BlackBerry (BB) has jumped 7.8% after reporting a loss of 6 cents a share, beating forecasts for a loss of 7 cents, on sales of $175 million, ahead of expectations for $168.8 million.
Darden Restaurants (DRI) has risen 4.2% after reporting a profit of $1.76 a share, beating forecasts for $1.65 a share, on sales of $2.31 billion, beating expectations for $2.24 billion.
Roku (ROKU) has advanced 2.9% after getting upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.
General Dynamics (GD) has advanced 1.2% and Northrop Grumman (NOC) has ticked up 0.7% after the stocks were upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs
Lufthansa (LHA.Germany) climbed 1.9% after the German airline was upgraded from sell to neutral by investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Humasis (205470.Korea) soared 28.9% in Seoul, after the Korean biotech group reached a deal to provide a rapid Covid-19 diagnostic kit to the U.S. Department of Defense. It shares the deal with
Celltrion (068270.Korea), which rose 3.3% in Seoul.
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