US stock futures advanced as investors waited on reports for initial job claims and other data describing the economic picture . The future contracts indicated a third day of gains for the main US stock indexes – Standard & Poors 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average.
S&P 500 futures expiring in September advanced 0.5% to 1,603.70 at 8:18 a.m. in New York. The benchmark raised 1% yesterday as mixed signals of U.S. economic growth fueled speculation the Federal Reserve will postpone the stimulus program tapering.Future contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 62 points, or 0.4%, to 14,886 today.
“The market is completely moving around what the Fed is doing and saying,” Robert Royle, manager of the North American Trust at Smith & Williamson Investment Management LLP in London said in a phone interview for Bloomberg. Since the Feds statement on May 22nd about reducing the bond purchasing program, investors have been following closely every single relevant economic data and acting according to the trend.
Central bank stimulus has helped fuel a bullish attitude in stocks worldwide, with the benchmark U.S. index surging as much as 147% from its March 2009 low. Despite this month’s decline, the S&P 500 gained 2.2% for the quarter and has rallied 1% for 2013.
US initial job claims reduced to 346 000 almost meeting the estimates with a slight difference of 1000 claims.
In US corporate news, Barrick advanced 1.9% after three days of losses. Gold rose for the first time in four days, recovering from the lowest since August 2010. Barrick shares have tumbled 58 % year to date. ConAgra Foods Inc. added 2.2%. The maker of frozen meals and Orville Redenbacher popcorn voiced adjusted earnings of 60 cents a share for the the fourth quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of 59 cents. Paychex dropped 3% as the company reported fourth quarter earnings per share of 34 cents, below the average analyst estimate for profit of 37 cents. Herman Miller Inc. declined 4.6% as The office-furnishings company adjusted fourth quarter earnings estimates in the range of 5 cents lower than analyst prediction.