Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade. The Challenger job-cut report for August is schedule for release at 7:30 a.m. ET, while the ADP national employment report for August will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET. Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week and nonfarm productivity for the second quarter will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. US Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for August is schedule for release at 9:45 a.m. ET. Data on factory orders for July and the ISM’s non-manufacturing index for August will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams is set to speak in Buffalo, New York at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41 points to 26,014, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded rose 2.25 points to 2,890.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index gained 7.75 points to 7,539.50.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.44 percent to trade at $77.61 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.19 percent to trade at $68.85 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, while the EIA’s weekly report on petroleum inventories will be released at 11:00 a.m. ET.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were mixed today, with the Spanish Ibex Index falling 0.70 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index rising 0.03 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.10 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading lower by 0.12 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.20 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.41 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.99 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.47 percent and India’s BSE Sensex climbed 0.59 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at JP Morgan downgraded Franklin Resources, Inc. BEN from Neutral to Underweight and lowered the price target from $32 to $29.

Franklin Resources shares rose 0.54 percent to close at $31.42 on Wednesday.

Breaking News

  • Verint Systems Inc. VRNTreported stronger-than-expected earnings for its second quarter and raised its 2019 guidance.
  • ProQR Therapeutics NVPRQR reporting an offering of $75 million.
  • Navistar International Corp NAVreported upbeat earnings for its third quarter, while sales missed views. The company also raised its FY18 sales guidance.
  • AeroVironment, Inc. AVAVreported upbeat results for its first quarter on Tuesday.