Dow futures rise 55 pts; weekly jobless claims due

December 8, 2022 7:42 AM EST

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally higher Thursday ahead of the latest jobless claims data, with sentiment remaining fragile given growing fears of an impending recession.

At 07:00 ET (12:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 55 points or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 10 points or 0.2% higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 27 points or 0.2%.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat Wednesday, but the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.2%, its fifth successive losing day, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended 0.5% lower.

Investors have started to turn their focus away from inflation and when the Federal Reserve ends its aggressive tightening cycle towards the impact on the consumer from these hefty interest rate hikes.

"The U.S. economy is likely to start feeling the effects of this year's policy tightening in earnest in 2023, since the economic effects of changes in monetary policy tend to lag by about six to 12 months," according to analysts at Morgan Stanley, in a note.

The Fed holds its final policy-setting meeting of the year next week, and the weekly jobless claims, due later in the session, will be studied for clues over the size of the U.S. central bank's next move after last week's stronger-than-expected November jobs release.

Initial jobless claims are expected to climb to 230,000, up slightly from the prior week's total of 225,000.

In the corporate sector, earnings are due from the likes of Costco (NASDAQ: COST), Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO), Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) and DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU).

Elsewhere, Rent the Runway (NASDAQ: RENT) is likely to be in the spotlight Thursday after the online store company late Wednesday beat its quarterly revenue expectations and raised its guidance for the full year. Its stock rose 16% premarket.

Crude oil prices rose Thursday, rebounding after falling to their lowest levels this year, although gains are tentative as concerns of a global economic slowdown grow.

The market received a boost from data released Wednesday showing U.S. inventories shrank more than expected last week, while China's loosening of more of its COVID mobility restrictions also helped sentiment.

However, worries about demand growth, particularly from the U.S. market, the largest consumer in the world, remain the dominant influence on the crude market.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.6% higher at $73.19 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1% to $77.92.

Brent settled on Wednesday below the year's previous closing low touched on the first day of 2022, while the U.S. contract dropped to a fresh yearly low.

Additionally, gold futures edged 0.1% lower to $1,796.10/oz, while EUR/USD edged lower to 1.0502.

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