U.S. stock futures are pointing higher in pre-market trading for Thursday, September 8. The Dow Futures are at 18528.0 for a gain of 14.00 points. The S&P 500 Futures are at 2186.5 for a gain of 2.00 points. The Nasdaq Futures are at 4831.5 for a gain of 2.75 points. The Russell Futures are at 1261.9 for a gain of 1.50 points.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is at 16958.77 for a loss of -53.67 points or -0.32 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is at 23919.34 for a gain of 177.53 points or 0.75 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite is at 3095.95 for a gain of 4.03 points or 0.13 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex is at 29045.28 for a gain of 118.92 points or 0.41 percent. In Europe, the FTSE 100 is at 6882.82 for a gain of 36.24 points or 0.53 percent. Germany’s DAX is at 10737.56 for a loss of -15.42 points or -0.14 percent. France’s CAC 40 is at 4557.53 for a loss of -0.13 points or -0.01 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 is at 350.74 for a gain of 0.28 points or 0.08 percent.

**Thursday’s Factors and Events**

The market will be watching the European Central Bank and jobless claims on Thursday. The European Central Bank could lower its central bank borrowing rate even further which would put it in negative territory, currently at 0 percent. Jobless claims will also be released on Thursday and economists are calling for an increase of 1,000. Jobless claims and the labor market will be on close watch as a leading indicator for the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions later this month.

Other economic reports on Thursday include the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, the Quarterly Services Survey, the EIA Petroleum Status Report, Consumer Credit, the Fed Balance Sheet and the Money Supply.

In pre-market trading the following stocks are trading actively:

General Mills

Johnson Controls

F5 Networks Inc

Apache Corp

Waters Corp

Tegna Inc

Williams Companies

Southwest Airlines

United Continental

**Wednesday’s Activity**

Stocks were mostly lower Wednesday. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18526.14 for a loss of -11.98 points or -0.06 percent. The S&P 500 was also lower, closing at 2186.15 for a loss of -0.33 points or -0.02 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed higher at 5283.93 for a gain of 8.02 points or 0.15 percent.

Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance.

Other notable index closes Wednesday included the small-cap Russell 2000 Index at 1261.01 for a gain of 7.64 points or 0.61 percent; the S&P 600 Small-Cap Index at 765.47 for a gain of 5.04 points or 0.66 percent; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index at 1581.51 for a gain of 5.47 points or 0.35 percent; the S&P 100 Index at 966.11 for a loss of -0.73 points or -0.08 percent; the Russell 3000 Index at 1295.73 for a gain of 0.97 points or 0.07 percent; the Russell 1000 Index at 1212.78 for a gain of 0.38 points or 0.03 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index at 622.31 for a gain of 0.90 points or 0.14 percent.