NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday after Wall Street’s best day in eight weeks as initial jobless claims showed a small decline last week.
First-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped for a second straight week, slipping 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 472,000 in latest week.
The report comes before Friday’s key nonfarm payroll report, which investors will eye for signals on the strength of the economy.
“Considering the volatility that they’ve had the last couple of months, it’s nice to see consistent numbers,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. “But (with) a lot of that, we are talking about seasonal adjustments, the census stuff, so it kind of makes sense that things have leveled out.
“I would say if we are able to hold even through the day, and hold on to (Wednesday’s) gains, that is a good sign actually, that we don’t have some profit taking set in.”