Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Thursday, helped by a strong start to the new earnings season and ahead of a packed economic data slate.
Earnings season got off with a bang on Wednesday. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) reported results that beat on both top and bottom lines, but Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) was the standout performer, boosted by record investment banking revenue and a jump in trading revenue.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) has continued in similar vein early Thursday, with blowout numbers and the announcement of a $25 billion share buyback, while Citigroup (NYSE:C) is also due to release before the bell.
Investors will also pore over financial results from the likes of food and beverage giant PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP), health care company UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) as well Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), which has struggled, along with all the other travel stocks, during the periods of lockdown.
Also of interest Thursday will be Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN), after the cryptocurrency exchange saw volatile trading on its market debut Wednesday, eventually closing around 30% higher than its reference price, helped by Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment buying around $250 million of the stock.
The economic data slate is extremely busy Thursday, starting with the weekly initial jobless claims, at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), which are expected to have fallen to 700,000, as the labor market recovers.
Retail sales, due at the same time, are expected to have bounced a hefty 5.9% last month, while industrial production, due at 9:15 AM ET, is seen jumping 2.8% after a 2.2% drop in February. The Philly Fed and Empire State manufacturing surveys are also due later Thursday.
Oil prices drifted lower Thursday, consolidating near one-month highs after Wednesday’s strong gains as U.S. stockpiles data added to signs the demand outlook is improving.
Both the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency upgraded their forecasts for world oil demand growth this year earlier this week.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% lower at $62.83 a barrel after climbing 4.9% during the previous session, while the Brent contract fell 0.4% to $66.31 after gaining 4.6% Wednesday.