Dow Futures Rise 90 Pts; GameStop Stock Split, Jobless Claims in Focus

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Dow Futures Rise 90 Pts; GameStop Stock Split, Jobless Claims in Focus

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen edging higher at the open Thursday after the Federal Reserve affirmed its commitment to tackling soaring inflation and ahead of the latest weekly labor market data.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 90 points or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 9 points or 0.2% higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 40 points, or 0.3%.

The major indices on Wall Street closed with small gains on Wednesday, the third positive day in a row, after the minutes of the June meeting of the Federal Reserve was seen as a firm restatement of the central bank's intent to get prices under control.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 70 points or 0.2% higher, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%, bouncing after a brutal selloff in global equity markets in the first half of the year.

While investors are keen for the central bank to act to control inflation , which remains at levels not seen since the 1980s, they are also warily trying to assess the impact of aggressive rate hikes on the country’s growth profile amid worries about a potential recession.

The next big data point is June’s jobs report , on Friday, and ahead of that comes the release of the monthly Challenger Job Cuts survey and weekly jobless claims numbers due at 7:30 AM ET (1130 GMT) and 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT) respectively.

In the corporate sector, meme stock GameStop (NYSE: GME ) will be in the spotlight after the video-game retailer's board approved a four-for-one stock split that will make it more affordable for investors to own shares in the company.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY ) is set to benefit from the news that interim CEO Sue Gove and two directors bought stock in the troubled domestic merchandise retailer, while, on the flip side, Avalo Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AVTX ) announced a one-for-twelve reverse stock split.

Elsewhere, drugmaker Merck (NYSE: MRK ) is in advanced talks to buy cancer-focused biotech company Seagen (NASDAQ: SGEN ), according to the Wall Street Journal, and Levi Strauss (NYSE: LEVI ) is set to report earnings after the bell.

Oil prices edged higher Thursday, consolidating after the hefty losses of the last two sessions as the focus returned to the underlying tight nature of supplies even as fears over the demand outlook in the wake of a recession remain.

The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported U.S. crude stockpiles rose by about 3.8 million barrels last week, and traders will look later in the session for the release of U.S. government data for confirmation of the state of domestic oil and fuel inventories.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% higher at $99.10 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.5% to $101.22.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,741.60/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0194.

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