U.S. futures are climbing across the board, continuing the strong March rally that has seen the major indices rise in six of the last seven sessions.
World markets received a jolt on Thursday after the European Central Bank announced that it was cutting its main financing rate by five basis points to 0% and its deposit rate to -0.40%. The central bank also expanded its monthly bond purchases by one-third as part of its quantitative easing plans.
Whether the moves will be effective over the long run remains to be seen, but futures in premarket trading Thursday spiked following the announcement.
Oil prices are retreating premarket with international benchmark Brent crude for May delivery falling $0.34 to $40.73 per barrel while West Texas crude for April delivery is declining $0.09 to $38.20 per barrel.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released Wednesday showed that gasoline stockpiles last week fell by 4.5 million barrels and distillates dropped by 1.1 million barrels. Gasoline's decline nearly tripled the 1.5 million-barrel-stockpile decrease reported in the previous week.
Crude oil stockpiles increased by 3.9 million barrels during the week. That number was about 900,000 barrels more than analysts were expecting for the week.
Growth Seeker holding Amazon (AMZN) is lifting off premarket after announcing that it finalized an agreement to lease 20 Boeing 747 freighter jets as it looks to continue to build out its U.S. delivery capabilities.
German car maker Volkswagen (VLKAY) announced that U.S. CEO Michael Horn would be stepping down, six months after a diesel emission scandal rocked the company.
Shares of Chipotle (CMG) fell Wednesday after the company announced that it had to temporarily close a store in Massachusetts after at least one employee contracted norovirus. The company's stock took a hit last year after it had to readjust its food safety measures following two E. coli and two norovirus outbreaks. The Massachusetts store is slated to reopen today.
Discount retailer Dollar General (DG) was rising premarket after reporting earning $1.30 per share in its most recent quarter, topping analyst expectations by $0.04 per share.
Vail Resorts (MTN) should receive a boost from its latest earnings results. The company reported EPS of $3.14 vs. analysts' $3.00 expectations. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 30% to $0.81 per share.