Stock Futures Climb After ECB Cuts Rates

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U.S. stock-index futures advanced on Thursday after the European Central Bank shocked traders by slicing its benchmark interest rate.

Today's Markets

As of 8:07 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 85 points, or 0.54%, to 15767, S&P 500 futures advanced 8.3 points, or 0.45%, to 1774 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 9.3 points, or 0.28%, to 3385.

Amid all the conversation about the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program, the ECB surprised market participants by taking a play from the traditional monetary policy play book. The powerful central bank sliced its main refinancing rate by 0.25 percentage point to a record low of 0.25%. The move immediately sent the euro plunging and stock-index futures climbing.

Elsewhere on the economic front, traders will get the first reading on third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect the world's biggest economy to have expanded at an annual rate of 2% over the three-month period, from 2.5% in the second quarter.

A report from the Labor Department at the same time is forecast to show the number of individuals filing for first-time jobless benefits last week having fallen by 5,000 to 335,000.

Both gauges will help guide the Fed as it determines when to begin paring back its giant bond-buying program. The all-important October jobs report is due out on Friday.

On the corporate front, Twitter makes its public debut on NYSE Euronext's (NYSE:NYX) New York Stock Exchange. Market participants are hoping the highly-awaited IPO will get off to a better start than Facebook (NASDA:FB), which faced a slew of issues when it started trading on Nasdaq OMX Group's (NASDAQ:NDAQ) Nasdaq Stock Market.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 42 cents, or 0.44%, to $95.20 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.44% to $2.537 a gallon. In metals, gold gained $5.10, or 0.39%, to $1,323 a troy ounce.