U.S. equity futures were trading higher following a record day on Wall Street.
Major futures indexes suggest a gain of 0.2% for the Dow and a rise of 0.4% for the Nasdaq.
A slew of earnings and economic reports may shape the direction of the trading day.
The fourth quarter earnings parade continues, with three Dow members scheduled to report Thursday. We’ll hear from property and casualty insurer Travelers in the morning, with technology heavyweights IBM and Intel posting after the closing bell.
On the economic front, the Labor Department will report on new claims for jobless benefits for last week. Watch for a decrease of 55,000 to 910,000.
The Commerce Department is expected to say the number of new homes being built in December rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.56 million, the highest since February. Permits for future construction were anticipated to fall to 1.604 million from 1.635 million, which was the highest read since August 2006.
Finally, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will release its January index of manufacturing activity for eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. It’s expected to rise to 12.0 from 9.1 in December. A reading above zero means more manufacturers say business conditions are improving.
In Europe, London's FTSE gained 0.1%, Germany's DAX added 0.4% and France's CAC was off 0.1%.
In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1% and China's Shanghai Composite added 1.1%.
Data released by the Japanese Finance Ministry showed the world's third-largest economy may be crawling toward a recovery, as exports for December rose for the first time in two years.
In Wednesday's Wall Street session, the S&P 500 rose 1.4%, topping its previous all-time high set earlier this month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite also notched record highs.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||30932.37||-469.64||-1.50%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13192.345407||+72.91||+0.56%|
Biden took a flurry of executive actions in his first hours as president. He also pitched a plan to pump $1.9 trillion more into the struggling economy, hoping to act quickly as his Democratic party now controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.
The hope on Wall Street was that such stimulus will help carry the economy until later this year, when more widespread COVID-19 vaccinations get daily life closer to normal.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gave up 39 cents to $52.92 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 43 cents to $55.65 a barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.