U.S. stock futures are higher in pre-market trading for Thursday, December 28.The Dow Futures are trading at 24,828.00 for up with  of +0.16% percent or +40.00 point.The S&P 500 Futures are trading at 2,687.50 for up with +0.07% percent or +2.00 point.The Nasdaq Futures are trading at 6,467.75 for up  with +0.21% percent or +15.00 point.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 are trading at 22,783.98 for up with +0.56% percent or +127.23 point. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng are trading at 29,840.68  for up  with +0.82% percent or  +243.02  point. China’s Shanghai Composite are trading at 3,296.38 for up with +0.63% percent or +20.6 point. India’s BSE Sensex are trading at 33,913.96 for up with +0.01% percent or  +60.47 point at 12:15 PM.The FTSE 100 are trading at 7,629.40 for up with +0.12% percent or +8.99 point. Germany’s DAX are trading at 13,040.76 for up  with +0.22% percent or  +29.26 point. France’s CAC 40 are trading at 5,362.38 with a loss of -0.12% percent or -6.45 point. The Stoxx Europe 600 are trading at 390.27 with a loss of -0.06% percent or -0.25 point.

Thursday’s Factors and Events

U.S. stock index futures are posting modest gains ahead of Thursday’s open, as investors turn their attention to what the next year will bring for markets.

This week, markets are opening back up following the festive holiday break although trading remains thin. U.S. stocks finished Wednesday slightly higher, lifted by gains seen in the real estate and utilities sectors.

As the light trade continues, investors stateside will be turning their focus to a fresh batch of economic data. At 8:30 a.m. ET, jobless claims and advance economic indicators are both due.

Meantime, market-watchers will be paying close attention as to what the New Year brings. As markets — for the most part — continue to ride the Santa Clause rally, investors will be wondering whether this trend will persist in 2018.

Wednesday’s Activity

U.S. market were higher on Wednesday. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,774.30 for up with  +0.11% percent or +28.09 point. The S&P 500 closed at 2,682.62 for up with +0.08% percent or  +2.12 point. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 6,939.34 for up with +0.04% percent or  +3.09 point.

Other leading market index closes included the small-cap Russell 2000 Index closed at 1,543.94  with a loss of  -0.02% percent or -0.29 point; the S&P 600 Small-Cap Index closed at 939.71  with a loss of -0.06%  percent or -0.56 point; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index closed at 1,905.52  with a loss of -0.01% percent or -0.21 point; the S&P 100 Index closed at 1,187.70 for up with +0.09% percent or  +1.08  point; the Russell 3000 Index closed at 1,588.16 for up with  +0.07% percent or +1.16 point; the Russell 1000 Index closed at 1,486.59 for up with +0.08% percent or +1.20 point; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index closed at 24,774.30 for up with +0.11% percent or +28.09 point.