Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade, ahead of earnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMTViacom, Inc. VIAB and Best Buy Co Inc BBY. Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week, the Philly Fed manufacturing index for November and data on import prices for October will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Data on industrial production for October will be released at 9:15 a.m. ET, while the housing market index for November is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET. Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester is set to speak in Washington at 9:10 a.m. ET, while Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will speak in Houston at 1:10 p.m. ET. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is set to speak in Ann Arbor, Michigan at 3:45 p.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 54 points to 23,316.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures gained 8.25 points to 2,573.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 25 points to 6,291.25.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.18 percent to trade at $61.76 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures declined 0.13 percent to trade at $55.26 a barrel. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 1.26 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.73 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.55 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading higher by 0.02 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.69 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.47 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.58 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.10 percent and India’s BSE Sensex climbed 1.06 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Deutsche Bank upgraded Dollar General Corp. DG from Hold to Buy.

Dollar General shares fell 1.14 percent to close at $82.30 on Wednesday.

Breaking news

  • Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCOreported better-than-expected profit for its first quarter on Wednesday.
  • Helmerich & Payne, Inc. HPposted upbeat results for its fourth quarter.
  • NetApp Inc. NTAPreported stronger-than-expected results for its second quarter and issued strong Q3 guidance.
  • Emerson Electric Co. EMRproposed to acquire Rockwell Automation ROK for $225 per share in cash and stock.