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Dec 8, 2016

U.S Stock Market Future Indication - December 8, 2016: Dow, S&P On Pace to Hold Near Record Highs as ECB Grabs Spotlight
Victor Reklaitis
U.S. stock futures pointed to little change at the open Thursday, putting the Dow industrials and S&P 500 on track to trade near their record closes from the prior session.

Investors are waiting for fresh information on the European Central Bank’s stimulus plans, and they’re also due to get a reading on U.S. jobless claims.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.05%  edged up by 15 points, or 0.1%, to 19,532, while S&P 500 futures  ESZ6, +0.04%  inched higher by 1.55 points, or 0.1%, to 2,238.25. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ6, +0.08%  added 7.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,849.

On Wednesday, the Dow DJIA, +1.55% and S&P 500 SPX, +1.32%  closed higher by 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively, as each gauge scored a record close. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.14%  climbed 1.1%, finishing 0.1% shy of its all-time closing high, achieved in late November.

Individual movers: Shares in Lululemon Athletica Inc. LULU, +4.54%  soared 15% in premarket action. The Canadian seller of athletic apparel late Wednesday posted better-than-expected earnings and announced a new buyback plan.

Costco Wholesale Corp. COST, +1.88%  was little changed in thin premarket trading after the warehouse club chain reported stronger-than-anticipated earnings late Wednesday.
Home builder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. HOV, +0.41%  is among the companies expected to post earnings before the open.

Economic news: The ECB is due to announce its rate decision at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time, and its President Mario Draghi’s news conference is slated to start at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
The central bank is widely expected to extend a key bond-buying program by another six months.
“A cold turkey end to the program could upset the continental economy at a politically volatile time, just ahead of spring elections in France,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a note.
See: Italy put a cloud over Europe, but there’s a silver lining for the ECB
A report on U.S. weekly jobless claims is slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with economists polled by MarketWatch forecasting 258,000 claims.

The Federal Reserve entered the so-called blackout period Tuesday ahead of its meeting Dec. 13-14, so there are no Fed speakers on the docket.

Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
Other markets: Oil futures CLF7, +0.88%  traded higher, erasing some of this week’s decline. European stocks SXXP, +0.34% have been struggling for direction ahead of the ECB’s update, while Asian markets closed mostly higher. Gold futures GCZ6, +0.03%  were roughly flat, and a key dollar index DXY, -0.32% was pulling back.
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