U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher open Thursday, as investors await key data on private sector employment and economicgrowth.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open Thursday, as investors awaited key data on private sector employment and economic growth.
European shares were also trading higher, although worries about Spain's deteriorating fiscal condition and Greece's future in the euro continues to drive demand for safe haven assets with German bond futures near record highs.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 45 points at 12,426. S&P 500 futures were up by nearly 5 points at 1,313. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising by 6.5 points to 2,537.
Stocks fell sharply Wednesday as deepening fears about Spain's shaky financial condition spoiled risk appetite and drove investors into bonds, sending the yield on 10-year Treasuries to record lows.
With only one trading day in May left, the S&P 500 is on pace for its worst monthly slump since September. The index has declined 6% in May amid intensifying worries about the eurozone debt crisis. The Dow has had only five positive trading sessions over the month.
On Thursday, however, concerns about Europe might take a temporary backseat in the U.S. as investors digest a raft of data that could shed light on the health of the domestic economy.
The focus will be on the ADP Employment Report that will be released at 8:15 EDT. Economists expect the private sector to have added 148,000 jobs in May, according to Thomson Reuters. In April, companies created 119,000 jobs
Bad news on jobs could further dampen investor sentiment and revive expectations that the Federal Reserve will do more to boost the economy.
Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics however expects the ADP to surprise. "...The markets have not yet had to deal with the combination of grim news from Europe and good news from the U.S," Shepherdson wrote ahead of the report. " The past two months' employment numbers have made it safer to be long Treasuries, but we are far from convinced that position is sustainable. The fox could be let loose in the chicken coop as soon as today, if the May ADP private employment report -- delayed by the Memorial Day holiday weekend -- is as strong as we expect."
At 8:30 a.m., the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the Department of Commerce will release its second estimate of first-quarter GDP. The report is expected to say that the economy expanded at a rate of 1.9% during the first quarter, down from the advance estimate of 2.2%.
Also at 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department will release its weekly jobless claims report. Initial jobless claims for the week ending May 26 is likely to come in at 370,000, unchanged from the previous week, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
At 9:45 a.m., the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago will release its report on business conditions in the region.The consensus is for Chicago PMI to come in at 57 for May, up slightly from 56.2 in April.
Later at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Department of Energy will release its weekly status reports on natural gas, followed by a report on oil inventories at 11 a.m.
July oil futures were higher by 26 cents at $88.08 a barrel and August gold futures were adding $2.4 to $1,567 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year Treasury was lower by 4/32, raising the yield to 1.637% and the greenback was off by 0.25%, according to the dollar index.
The euro was recovering by 0.4% at $1.2411 after slipping close to its two-year low on Wednesday.
European markets were trading higher after an opinion poll showed Ireland will vote in favor of the fiscal stability pact designed to contain the European debt crisis.
Also boosting sentiment, inflation in the 17-nation area fell to 2.4% from 2.6%, the slowest pace since February 2011, while the German unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in April.
The FTSE in U.K. was gaining 0.8%, while the DAX in Europe was adding 0.4%. Asian markets sold off, tracking the risk-off trade in European and U.S. markets on Wednesday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.3%, while Japan's Nikkei declined 1%.
In corporate news, the nation's retailers including Gap(NYSE:GPS) and Target(NYSE:TGT) will report their same-store sales numbers for May.
Costco(NYSE:COST) said same-store sales rose 4%, short of the 4.3% analysts were expecting.
TiVo(NYSE:TIVO) reported weak first-quarter results and second-quarter guidance. The digital video recording company posted a loss of 17 cents a share on revenue of $67.8 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of 15 cents a share on $54.89 million in service and technology revenue.
For its fiscal second quarter, TiVo said it expects service and technology revenue to be between $53 million and $55 million and projects a net loss of $28 million to $30 million. Analysts expect revenue of $56.5 million and a loss of $27 million.
Ciena(NYSE:CIEN) is set to report on Thursday. The network equipment maker is expected to post a second-quarter loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $447 million.