Futures Rise on Debt Auctions, but Pare Gains After Jobless Claims

S&P futures are about 9 handles higher Thursday morning hitting 5-month highs after European debt auctions in Italy and Spain gave investors cause for optimism. More US economic data is on tap this morning as well with retail sales and jobless claims, hoping to extend the recent run of positive news. The ECB didn’t pack any surprises , holding firm on monetary policy. Investors will be watching the monthly press conference by ECB chief Mario Draghi, looking for hints about possible future European bond purchases.

The market has not built any major momentum after Tuesday’s gap up, but has also shown resilience by not selling off. Volume does remain alarmingly light, however, which gives traders some pause. But as long as the technicals continue to forecast higher price to come, that is the side of the trade most technicians will be looking to take.

In earnings news, Indian software company Infosys (INFY) is down almost 12% pre-market despite announcing a 33% rise in net profit. The sell-off is die to the company cutting its dollar forecast for the year. Chevron (CVX) also fell 1% in the pre-market after issuing a warning of weakness in its downstream business last night.

Asian markets were mostly lower Thursday after inflation numbers eased slightly in December. Food inflation did remain at elevated levels, which could lead to further monetary easing by Chinese policy officials. Gold (GLD) continues its recent resurgence, up almost 1%.

Wynn (WYNN) is down more than 4% in pre-market amid a lawsuit by one of its Vice Chairman over use of funds. The casinos had been strong yesterday, but WYNN’s weakness could put a damper on that momentum.

Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are 3% higher overnight as investors begin to anticipate a bounce-back quarter from the banks. The stock had remained extremely weak through most of 2011, struggling to get past $5 and change. In 2012 its been a different story with the stock up almost 30%. JP Morgan (JPM) is also up more than 1% ahead of tomorrow’s earnings report.

By Evan Lazarus

Disclosures: Scott Redler is long POT, SPY, MCP, RENN, DANG, X, GS, CSCO, JPM, OIH, GNK, LNKD, QCOM, GOOG calls. Short DIA. Evan Lazarus is long LULU calls. Short WTW, LULU stock.

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