Market News: 

 

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday as traders looked to the busiest day of earnings season, with a host of big names set to report.

Abbott LabsAlibabaCaterpillarBristol-Myers SquibbFord, Blackstone, Harley-DavidsonHersheyNorthrop Grumman and Under Armour are among companies expected to report before the bell.

Amazon.comAmgenMicrosoftVisa and Electronic Arts are among companies due to report after the bell.

Wednesday saw stocks slump after the Fed's 2 p.m. post-meeting statement noted concerns about a weaker economy and global conditions.

The central bank did not, however, specifically state it would defer rate hikes, unsettling some investors. The Fed has forecast four rate increases this year while the market expects but one.

On the data front, initial claims and durable goods are released at 8:30 a.m. ET, with pending home sales out at 10:00 a.m.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $33.77 a barrel on Thursday morning, up by 2.02 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $32.75 a barrel, up by 1.39 percent.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei finished 0.71 percent lower, while the Shanghai Composite closed 2.85 percent lower in China. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.05 percent higher on Thursday morning.

 
Author: 
D. YOUSEF myfxgate