Stock futures trade cautiously ahead of bank earnings, economic data

US equity futures traded mostly higher Thursday morning ahead of a slew of bank earnings reports.

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Thursday will be the final trading day of the week ahead of the Good Friday holiday.

Storage tanks are seen at Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles Refinery. Picture taken with a drone. (REUTERS / Bing Guan / Reuters Photos)

Oil futures traded lower Thursday morning as traders weighed a larger-than-expected build in US oil inventories against tightening global supply.

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US West Texas Intermediate futures were off $ 1.44 to $ 102.82 a barrel.

Brent futures were down $ 1.35 at $ 107.43 a barrel.

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The biggest names on Wall Street will post first quarter earnings Thursday morning. They include Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Dow member Goldman Sachs.

There is a full slate of economic reports to keep an eye on.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo / Richard Drew) (AP Photo / Richard Drew)

The Labor Department will release its count of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 171,000, up slightly from a 53-year low of 166,000 the previous week. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to decline to 1.5 million.

The Commerce Department will report retail sales for March. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv anticipate consumer spending to jump 0.6% month-over-month, double February’s 0.3% increase. Excluding the automotive component, spending is seen rising 1% in March, up sharply from 0.2% the prior month.

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Also watch for import and export prices for March. Prices of imported goods likely rose 2.3% month-over-month, the biggest increase in 11 years. Export prices are expected to jump 2.2%, down from a record 3.0% spike in February.

The University of Michigan will release its preliminary index of consumer sentiment for April. The Refinitiv estimate is 59.0, down from March’s final reading of 59.4, which was the lowest in almost 11 years on inflation fears.

Bitcoin traded above $ 40,000.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.7% and China’s Shanghai Composite index advanced 1.2%.

Ticker Security Cargo Change Change%
I: DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34564.59 +344.23 + 1.01%
SP500 S&P 500 4446.59 +49.14 + 1.12%
I: COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13643.587173 +272.02 + 2.03%

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index rose 1.1% to 4,446.59, breaking a 3-day losing streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% to 34,564.59 and the Nasdaq picked up 2% to 13,643.59.

Travel-related companies were among the biggest gainers. Delta gained 6.2% after it reported strong revenue.

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Technology stocks also gained, while banks slipped following a disappointing earnings report from JPMorgan. Shares fell 3.2% after revealing a sharp drop in profits after writing down nearly $ 1.5 billion in assets due to higher inflation and the Russian-Ukraine war.

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Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.67% early Thursday from 2.72% late Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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