By Peter Nurse
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Thursday, as investors prepare for the start of the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium as well as key economic data and more corporate earnings.
The main Wall Street indices closed with small gains Wednesday, snapping a three-day losing streak as investors nervously await the start of the Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole , Wyoming.
While the symposium is set to start later Thursday, it’s Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday which is likely to be the highlight. The Fed chairman is expected to reconfirm the Fed's commitment to taming inflation, and investors will be looking for clues over the size of the central bank’s .
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said he hasn't decided if the Fed should increase interest rates by 50 basis points or 75 basis points at its policy meeting next month, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
There are also a number of important economic data releases due Thursday, starting with another reading on second-quarter gross domestic product , which is expected to confirm a quarter-to-quarter drop of 0.8%.
The weekly jobless claims data are also due, along with July figures on personal income and spending , which includes the core personal consumption expenditures price index , the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.
The news out of Europe earlier Thursday was less grim than feared, as German business confidence held up better than expected in August, while the country’s federal statistics office Destatis revised up its estimate for second-quarter GDP to show growth of 0.1%, after an initial estimate of no growth at all.
There are also more earnings to digest Thursday, with the likes of Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON ), Gap (NYSE: GPS ), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR ) and Dollar General (NYSE: DG ) reporting before the bell, and Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA ), Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY ) and Affirm Holdings (NASDAQ: AFRM ) after the close.
Additionally, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA ) stock fell 4% after the chip giant’s quarterly result revealed a 19% quarter-on-quarter drop in revenue. Salesforce (NYSE: CRM ) stock fell 6.3% after the cloud-based software company cut its annual revenue and profit forecasts, while Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW ) stock jumped over 19% after the cloud computing firm beat revenue expectations.
Oil prices stabilized Thursday after losses earlier this week, helped by ongoing supply tightness as well as signs of strong demand in the U.S., the world’s largest consumer.
Data released Wednesday showed U.S. crude inventories fell by about 3.3 million barrels last week, much more than expected, while the volume of crude and its products exported from the U.S. last week was the highest in a series going back to February 1991.
The potential for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, to cut production to support prices has also added support to the market, while talks over the revival of a nuclear deal with Iran remain stalled.
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