Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 

Stock futures modestly higher after Obama speech

Send a link to a friend

[January 28, 2010]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures rose modestly Thursday, a day after President Barack Obama said the government should take new actions to bolster the economy and create jobs.

OHardwareverseas markets rose on hopes the U.S. economy will continue to strengthen.

Politics, not the economy, has been dictating trading over the past week. Concerns about Obama's plan to overhaul banking regulation and restrict trading at large financial institutions spooked the market. The possibility Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke wouldn't be confirmed for a second term had investors on edge, though those worries have subsided. Stocks have declined five of the past eight days.

During his State of the Union address Wednesday night, Obama avoided talking about the banking overhaul plan. Uncertainty over details of how that plan might be enacted and how strong trading restrictions would be had helped push the market to its worst three-day stretch since stocks bottomed last March.


Focus on the economy is starting to creep back to the forefront. The Fed said Wednesday afternoon it would keep interest rates at historic lows and the economy was showing signs of improvement. That helped stocks rally late in the day.

Investors will turn their attention to a plethora of earnings releases Thursday for signs of further economic improvement. The Labor Department releases its weekly jobless claims report and the Commerce Department provides details on durable goods orders.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 18, or 0.2 percent, to 10,213. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 2.70, or 0.3 percent, to 1,097.10, while Nasdaq 100 index futures climbed 3.25, or 0.2 percent, to 1,812.25.

New requests for unemployment benefits likely fell by 32,000 to 450,000 last week, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. High unemployment remains one of the biggest obstacles to a strong economic recovery. Reducing the unemployment rate, now at 10 percent, was one of the focuses of Obama's speech.

The Labor Department report is due out at 8:30 a.m. EST.

[to top of second column]

Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods likely jumped 2 percent in December because of a surge in demand for commercial aircraft. Excluding volatile transportation orders, durable goods orders -- items expected to last at least three years -- likely rose 0.5 percent last month.

The report is scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. EST.

And on Friday, the government releases its initial reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product. The GDP number, which measures the entire country's economic output, likely rose at an annualized rate of 4.5 percent during the final three months of 2009.

Stocks closed higher Wednesday after the Fed announcement, erasing losses seen earlier in the day. The Dow rose 0.4 percent, while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, bond prices rose slightly Thursday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 3.65 percent from 3.66 percent late Wednesday.

The dollar mostly rose against other major currencies, while gold prices rose modestly.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX index was up 0.3 percent, and France's CAC-40 gained 0.5 percent.

[Associated Press; By STEPHEN BERNARD]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor