US stocks were set to open in positive territory Thursday as traders digested key readings on the US economy, including Q3 growth data and jobless claims, with sentiment supported by upbeat earnings from the technology sector.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 62 points or 0.2%, S&P futures gained 12 points or 0.3%, and Nasdaq futures rose 77 points or 0.5%.
Oil prices fell, with front-month global benchmarks Brent crude and US West Texas Intermediate both down more than 1.2%, after government data showed a weekly increase of 4.3 million barrels in US crude stockpiles, while the potential resumption of nuclear talks between the US and Tehran also weighed on prices.
At 8:30 am, data showed US economic growth slowed to a 2% annual rate in Q3 from Q2 growth of 6.7% and below expectations for a 2.6% rise. Jobless claims came in at 281,000 in the Oct. 23 week, down from 291,000 revised claims in the previous week and lower than estimates for a 288,000 claims, according to Bloomberg data.
At 10 am, the pending home sales index is due for release, with forecasters calling for 0.5% growth in September following August's 8.1% surge.
In other world markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1% lower, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.3% lower, and China's Shanghai Composite closed 1.2% lower. Meanwhile, UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.3% and Germany's DAX index slipped 0.4% in Europe's early afternoon session.
On the winning side, shares of Ford (F) were 9% higher after the company posted Q3 adjusted profit and revenue that topped Street estimates. Tesla (TSLA) shares were 3% higher on a deal between Hertz and Uber to make up to 50,000 Tesla units available for Uber drivers. HCW Biologics (HCWB) shares nearly doubled after the US Food and Drug Administration greenlighted the company's phase 1b clinical trial for immunotherapeutic HCW9218 for pancreatic cancer. LendingClub (LC) shares increased 24% on improved Q3 financial results.
On the losing side, Hilton Worldwide (HLT) shares were marginally lower after the company posted Q3 adjusted profit that trailed the Street estimate. Rafael Holdings (RFL) shares slumped 79% after the company said its phase 3 trial in metastatic pancreatic cancer failed to meet its primary endpoint.