U.S. stock futures are pointing higher in pre-market trading for Thursday, October 20. The Dow Futures are at 18158.0 for a gain of 33.00 points. The S&P 500 Futures are at 2140.5 for a gain of 2.50 points. The Nasdaq Futures are at 4836.75 for a gain of 6.50 points. The Russell Futures are at 1221.0 for a gain of 2.10 points.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is at 17235.50 for a gain of 236.59 points or 1.39 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is at 23374.40 for a gain of 69.43 points or 0.30 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite is at 3084.46 for a loss of -0.26 points or -0.01 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex is at 28129.84 for a gain of 145.47 points or 0.52 percent. In Europe, the FTSE 100 is at 7021.31 for a loss of -0.61 points or -0.01 percent. Germany’s DAX is at 10674.61 for a gain of 28.93 points or 0.27 percent. France’s CAC 40 is at 4531.29 for a gain of 10.99 points or 0.24 percent.

Thursday’s Factors and Events

Stocks are pointing higher in pre-market trading as investors are positive on the outlook for third quarter earnings reports. On the economic calendar on Thursday are the following reports: Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Existing Home Sales and Leading Indicators.

Stocks trading actively in the pre-market include the following:

United Rentals


Intuitive Surgical

Cabot Oil & Gas

Seagate Technology

Newfield Exploration


Michael Kors Holding

Reynolds American

Murphy Oil Corp.

Approximately 75 companies will report earnings on Thursday. In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Microsoft, Verizon and Travelers will report today.

Wednesday’s Activity

U.S. market indexes were higher Wednesday. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18202.69 for a gain of 40.75 points or 0.22 percent. The S&P 500 closed at 2144.29 for a gain of 4.69 points or 0.22 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 5246.41 for a gain of 2.58 points or 0.05 percent.


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

Other notable index closes included the small-cap Russell 2000 Index at 1222.64 for a gain of 5.34 points or 0.44 percent; the S&P 600 Small-Cap Index at 740.32 for a gain of 2.89 points or 0.39 percent; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index at 1534.03 for a gain of 6.86 points or 0.45 percent; the S&P 100 Index at 950.01 for a gain of 0.91 points or 0.10 percent; the Russell 3000 Index at 1268.57 for a gain of 3.25 points or 0.26 percent; the Russell 1000 Index at 1188.30 for a gain of 2.86 points or 0.24 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index at 603.92 for a gain of 0.51 points or 0.08 percent.