Wall Street Likely To See Positive Start

Higher futures point to a slightly positive start for stocks on Wall Street on Thursday. The volume of business is likely to be thin due to upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.

The Dow futures are up 0.33 percent. The S&P futures are gaining 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq futures are higher by 0.20 percent.

The market will be reacting to a slew of economic data, including initial jobless claims, new home sales, durable goods orders, as well as the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment report.

The market is likely to react positively to reports saying that studies by the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London suggested the number of patients needing hospitalization with Omicron was sharply lower relative to Delta.

However, the World Health Organization’s warning that it it’s too early to draw conclusions on Omicron’s severity may limit market’s upside.

U.S. stocks closed on a firm note on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session, amid positive reaction to the latest U.S. economic data, including a report from the Conference Board showing consumer confidence improved by much more than expected in the month of December.

The major averages reached new highs for the session during the closing minutes. The Dow climbed 261.19 points or 0.7 percent to 35,753.89, the Nasdaq surged 180.81 points or 1.2 percent to 15,521.89 and the S&P 500 jumped 47.33 points or 1 percent at 4,696.56.

Asian stocks closed higher amid thin volumes on Thursday as traders largely stayed away from their desks for the Christmas break. While separate studies indicated the Omicron variant poses a lower risk of severe disease and hospitalization than the Delta variant, the World Health Organization said it’s too early to draw conclusions on its severity.

European stocks are up in positive territory amid slightly easing concerns about Omicron.

In commodities market, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are up $0.13 or 0.18% at $72.89 a barrel. Gold futures are gaining $2.50 or 0.14% at $1,804.70 an ounce.

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