Stock Futures Cling to Gains
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A mixed bag of economic data trimmed stock future gains early Thursday but Wall Street still looks to be on track to open in the green.
The U.S. markets were getting an early lift from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen's speech Wednesday in New York. Yellen indicated she supports an extended period of low interest rates in the United States.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 7 points, or 5.6 points above fair value, at 12,751. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.7 points, or 0.3 points above fair value, at 1365. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 4.3 points, or 4.3 points above fair value, at 2709.
During her speech in New York, Yellen told her audience that "I consider a highly accommodative policy stance to be appropriate in present circumstances."
U.S. stocks snapped a five-day losing streak on Wednesday with buyers out in force as anxiety over the eurozone eased and Alcoa's(AA) profit surprise lifted hopes for a better-than-expected first-quarter reporting season.
In economic news today, the U.S. trade balance improved with less red ink on the deficit. The Department of Commerce reported a February trade deficit of $46.03 billion, down from $52.52 billion in January.
The Labor Department reported unchanged March producer prices, which was much lower than expected. They rose 0.4% in February. However, the core price index, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, rose a higher than expected 0.3% in March compared with a gain of 0.2% in February.
Initial jobless claims had a bigger than anticipated jump to 380,000, up 13,000 from last week. The four-week moving average of initial claims rose 4,250 to 368,500. The Labor Department reported continuing claims for the week ended March 31 of 3.251 million, down from 3.349 million the previous week.