Stock futures gains as U.S. economy remains robust

S&P 500 futures rose in Thursday’s early session after better-than-expected retail sales, indicating that the US economy remains strong. , SandP 500 futures were up about 0.19%, while Dow Jones futures were up about 0.06%. Nasdaq 100 futures were also up about 0. 1%. , shares ended Wednesday’s regular session just above flat, although the day was down after a strong January retail report, which could suggest the Federal Reserve may have more work to do to curb accelerating inflation. . The , Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about 0.11%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.28% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.92%. According to several economists, the data suggested that many stocks still have potential to rise after a positive start to the year. “This rally seems to have some legs and you can’t fight certain groups right now,” says Victoria Greene, chief investment officer at G Squared Private Wealth. “The Fed is saying they’re going to go crazy, but the technical people are saying this rally is on and I really don’t think we’re going to retest those October lows because we’ve hit some really important technical support,” Greene added. Another key inflation number, January’s producer price index and unemployment insurance rates are expected on today’s agenda. Following strong US economic data, the US dollar was flat as the overall outlook for the global economy appears to be improving, even as the central bank . seeks to raise interest rates. The US dollar at , pared some of Wednesday’s gains but remained near six-week highs against other major currencies. It is currently trading near 103.71 after reaching 10 .11 on Wednesday. “The US economy continues to do well. There is very strong data coming out of the labor market and consumers are well supported,” said Kiwibank Chief Economist Jarrod Kerr. “We think the central bank still has some work to do.” “A step back, better-than-expected US data should support the global growth picture. Also, China’s reopening story has yet to fully materialize, and if data improves in the coming weeks, it should bode well for global growth,” says Christopher Wong , currency strategist at OCBC. Oil prices rose on Thursday morning as Chinese energy demand, which is expected to recover, was offset by a stronger dollar and higher-than-expected US oil inventories. Brent crude futures were up about 59 cents at $85.97 a barrel by 0725 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up nearly 73 cents at $79.32 a barrel. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), oil demand will increase by 2 million bpd in 2023, more than 100,000 bpd than the previous month’s forecast, to a record 101.9 million bpd, with China accounting for about 900,000 bpd. will increase and adding that China will account for almost half of oil demand in 2023 as it abandons its zero covid policy. “China has been helped by an optimistic outlook from OPEC and the IEA. The net boost has been countered by a huge increase in US oil inventories, but I still don’t see much room for movement,” says oil founder Vandana Hari. market analysis provider Vanda Insights. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), US crude oil inventories rose by 16.3 million barrels to 71. million barrels, the highest level since June 2021. The higher than expected increase was mainly due to the correction of data and had little effect on oil prices. According to independent market expert Sugandha Sachdeva, oil prices are expected to fluctuate within a narrow range between demand and supply shortages. “While steadily rising US production and rising inventories, along with a broad recovery in the US dollar, are headwinds for oil prices, a report of a strong recovery in Chinese demand and the prospect of Russia-related production cuts will push oil prices higher,” Sachdeva added. .

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