Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade. Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week and the Philly Fed manufacturing index for September will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Data on existing home sales for August and the index of leading economic indicators for August will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67 points to 26,529, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded gained 5.25 points to 2,920.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index gained 20 points to 7,546.50.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.18 percent to trade at $79.54 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 0.73 percent to trade at $71.64 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 1.01 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.49 percent and German DAX 30 index gained 0.51 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading higher by 0.22 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.70 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.01 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.26 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.06 percent and India’s BSE Sensex dipped 0.45 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Macquarie upgraded Viacom, Inc. VIAB from Neutral to Outperform and raised the price target from $34 to $37.

Viacom shares rose 1.72 percent to close at $30.73 on Wednesday.

Breaking News

  • Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRIreported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter and raised its FY19 guidance.
  • Thor Industries, Inc. THOreported weaker-than-expected profit for its fourth quarter.
  • Herman Miller, Inc. MLHRreported stronger-than-expected results for its first quarter on Wednesday.
  • Red Hat IncRHT reported upbeat earnings for its second quarter, while sales missed estimates. The company also issued weak outlook for the current quarter.