MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Edge Cautiously Higher With Jam-packed Risk Agenda Ahead

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Comey hearing, U.K. election and ECB meeting are all on deck Thursday

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Wall Street was set for a slightly upbeat open, with markets taking a cautious tone as the "Super Thursday" of event risks finally arrived.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 31 points, or 0.2%, to 21,194, while those for the S&P 500 index added 2.85 points, or 0.1%, to 2,434.75. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index gained 7.75 points, or 0.1%, to 5,887.50.

Investors were focusing on Thursday's trio of events that could shake up markets: the U.K. general election, a European Central Bank policy meeting, and testimony from former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey's on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Comey is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Read:What to watch when James Comey testifies to the Senate on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-when-james-comey-testifies-to-the-senate-on-thursday-2017-06-05)

Comey's prepared remarks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/full-text-of-comeys-prepared-senate-testimony-2017-06-07) to the Senate Intelligence Committee, released on Wednesday, helped stocks recover from losses late in the session. The Dow average and the S&P 500 each ended up 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.4% higher.

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See:Comey's juicy Trump account leaves some big questions unanswered (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/comeys-juicy-trump-account-leaves-some-big-questions-unanswered-2017-06-07)

"Although Comey's testimony has attracted most of the media headlines, we didn't see any significant disclosures from the prepared remarks released yesterday," said FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed.

"While we cannot assume anything, a base case scenario would not be a big surprise to arise from Comey's testimony before Congress. I think that the ECB meeting and the U.K. election are the risk events that will produce the big moves today," he added in a note.

The ECB delivers its rate decision at 7:45 a.m. Eastern, followed by President Mario Draghi's news conference at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The central bank is widely expected to leave rates on hold, but is seen downgrading its inflation forecast.

Read:Why the ECB can take only 'baby steps' toward ending ultraloose monetary policy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/draghis-ecb-may-take-baby-steps-toward-ending-ultraloose-monetary-policy-2017-06-06)

In the U.K., voters headed to the polls in an election that turned out to be much more uncertain than anyone had predicted. Opinion polls are still giving Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party the lead, but the big question is whether the party will increase its majority in parliament. Polling stations close at 10 p.m. London time (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/when-is-the-uk-election-and-when-do-we-know-who-won-2017-06-01), or 5 p.m. Eastern, and the first exit polls will be released immediately after.

Read:U.K. election -- these are the stocks and sectors to watch once the result is in (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-for-a-shake-up-among-uk-stocks-after-thursdays-election-2017-06-06)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-for-a-shake-up-among-uk-stocks-after-thursdays-election-2017-06-06) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-for-a-shake-up-among-uk-stocks-after-thursdays-election-2017-06-06)Also read:U.K. election: The worst, best and most likely scenarios for stocks worldwide (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-election-the-nightmare-best-case-and-most-likely-scenarios-for-stocks-worldwide-2017-06-01)

The pound traded at a two-week high as voting got under way, buying $1.2977, compared with $1.2960 late Wednesday in New York.

Economic news: A reading on weekly jobless claims is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by a quarterly survey of services at 10 a.m. Eastern.

There are no Federal Reserve speakers scheduled to speak, as the central bank is in a "blackout period" ahead of a policy meeting next week.

Stock movers: Shares of Yahoo! Inc.(YHOO) climbed 3.3% in premarket trade. The move came after news late Wednesday that up to 1,000 layoffs are expected at the combined Yahoo and AOL companies set to be bought by Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) .

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) gained 0.5% ahead of the bell. The rise builds on recent days' sharp rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amds-stock-extends-surge-fueled-by-tremendous-graphics-cards-demand-2017-06-07) following upbeat comments from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and brokers regarding the chip maker.

Other markets: Stocks in Asia closed mostly higher, although Japan's Nikkei 225 index bucked the positive trend. The losses in Tokyo came after the yen jumped on reports the Bank of Japan is running simulations of exits from quantitative easing.

European stocks were little changed ahead of the ECB meeting and the U.K. election result.

Oil prices rose 0.7% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crude-futures-attempt-to-rebound-from-biggest-drop-in-a-month-2017-06-08), rebounding after posting the biggest drop since March in Wednesday's session. That slump followed a report of an unexpected climb in U.S. stockpiles.

Gold fell 0.4%, while the dollar was little changed against other major currencies.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 08, 2017 05:09 ET (09:09 GMT)