US stocks were set for a positive open on Thursday as traders evaluated the latest monetary-policy decision by the Federal Reserve and a deluge of readings on the US economy.
Oil prices nudged higher with global benchmark Brent Crude up 0.71%, and US crude West Texas Intermediate up 1.15% recently as markets prepare for the imposition of fresh US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran.
At 8:30 am, data showed new durable goods orders rose 4.% in August versus estimates for a 2.2% increase and the prior month’s decline of 1.7%. The third estimate for Q2 gross domestic product came in unchanged from the previous estimate at 4.2% annualized rate versus 4.3% expected. The international trade in goods deficit widened unexpectedly to $75.8 billion in August from $72.1 billion in July versus forecasts for a $70.8 billion deficit. New unemployment claims rose 13,000 from the previous to 214,000 in the Sept. 22 week versus forecasts for a 14,000 gain. Wholesale inventories rose 0.8% in August, ahead of expectations for a 0.2% gain and as compared to the 0.7% build in July, according to data compiled by Econoday.
At 10 am, pending home sales are expected to come in unchanged in August after falling 0.7% in July.
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a speech in a business forum in Rhode Island.
In equities, shares of Geron (GERN) were 62.2% lower pre-bell after the biopharmaceutical company’s collaboration and license agreement with Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Janssen Biotech unit has been terminated.