By Peter Nurse
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Thursday, consolidating after recent gains as investors digest a flurry of quarterly corporate earnings.
The main indices on Wall Street closed higher Wednesday, continuing a July rebound, with the second quarter having largely held up, calming fears about an impending recession.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed just under 50 points, or 0.2% higher, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.6%, both gaining for the third day in four. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.6%, its fourth positive session in five, and up just under 4% this week to date.
Earnings reports continued after the bell Wednesday, with electric car maker Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) reporting a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit as a string of price increases on its electric vehicles helped offset production challenges caused by supply chain issues, COVID-19 lockdowns in China.
Aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) and railroad operator CSX (NASDAQ: CSX ) traded higher premarket after both companies beat expectations after the close, while on the flip side United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL ) slumped after the carrier posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, its first without U.S. aid since the pandemic began, weighed by higher operating costs.
However, much of the early attention Thursday may be fixed on Europe as the European Central Bank is set to hike interest rates for the first time since 2011, while Mario Draghi resigned as Prime Minister of Italy, ending a period of relative political stability and calm in the Eurozone's third-largest economy.
Oil prices fell Thursday for the second consecutive session after U.S. government data raised demand concerns at the world’s largest consumer during the peak summer driving season.
U.S. gasoline inventories rose 3.5 million barrels last week, according to Wednesday’s data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration , a much sharper increase than had been expected.
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