Better-than-expected jobs news and dovish Fed comments did little to move stock futures higher Thursday morning, even as global markets showed strength.
U.S. markets roared higher Wednesday after Federal Open Market Committee minutes showed that central bankers may be more dovish than Wall Street had anticipated. FOMC members agreed that previous benchmarks to indicate future policy tightening could be misleading and unintentionally signal higher interest rates.
Overseas, European markets built on the U.S. rally before wavering and then recovering after the Bank of England left monetary policy unchanged, as economists had expected. The Hang Seng and Shanghai indices led Asian markets to overnight gains.
Stateside, the number of American filing for initial jobless claims fell by 32,000 to 300,000 last week, far better than economists had expected. Meanwhile, import prices rose more than expected in March, up 0.6%. Wall Street will also be looking at same-store sales, or sales growth at stores open at least one year, from national chains throughout the morning.
Among stocks to watch today, Action Alerts PLUS holding General Motors (GM) announced that it is placing two engineers on paid leave as the investigation into a massive recall widens. And billionaire investor Carl Icahn has settled his proxy battle with online auctioneer eBay (EBAY).
Turning to earnings, Rite Aid (RAD) shares jumped 9% in premarket trading after the drugstore chain beat profit estimates Thursday morning by a wide margin on in-line sales. Pier 1 Imports (PIR) shares also got a boost as the home furnisher booked a $0.17-per-share net-income beat. Meanwhile, shares of Family Dollar Store (FDO) were down after missing bottom-line estimates by $0.10 per share and missing sales views as well.
Late Wednesday, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) lowered its outlook below views, pressuring the home-goods retailer's stock by 6%, and Ruby Tuesday (RT) topped profit estimates by a penny per share. The latter sparked a 10% bump in the stock.