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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a modestly higher open for Wall Street on Thursday, a day after a Federal Reserve statement that signaled confidence in the American economy, but some weak results from technology companies limited the market’s advance.
S&P 500 futures ESM7, -0.04% rose by 6.8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,390, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMM7, -0.08% gained 60 points, or 0.3%, to 20,939. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM7, -0.08% tacked on 19.75 points, or 0.4%, to 5,633.
The Fed statement, released on Wednesday two hours before the market’s close, said the central bank’s policy panel “views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory,” deploying unusually dismissive language. The Fed also left interest rates unchanged, as had been widely expected.
Equities were also supported by an apparent easing of geopolitical tensions abroad, with European stocks higher after markets-friendly French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron weathered a televised debate Wednesday night and appeared to remain on track to win in Sunday’s runoff election against euroskeptic Marine Le Pen.
“Macron was considered to have outperformed Marine Le Pen in the final presidential debate in France last night. This has helped to boost equity markets in Europe,” said Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index, in a note.
A rally in U.S. stocks on April 24 was attributed in part to Macron’s strong showing in the first round of France’s presidential election.
Economic news: In the latest economic data, first-time jobless claims fell sharply in the latest week, dropping a larger-than-expected 19,000 in the latest sign of strength in the labor market. Separately, U.S. productivity fell 0.6% in the first quarter; analysts had forecast no change.
At 10 a.m. Eastern, a release on March factory orders is expected to show 0.5% growth.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
There are no Fed officials scheduled to speak today.
Individual movers: Limiting the broader market’s advance was Facebook Inc. FB, -1.62% which fell 0.3% in premarket action Thursday, after being choppy in after-hours action Wednesday as the social-media giant reported its quarterly earnings.
Facebook posted better-than-expected earnings based on generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, as well as revenue that topped forecasts.