Economic recovery optimism boosts stock index futures

S&P 500 up 11% from October lows; trading slows ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Nov 25, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Bloomberg News

U.S. stock index futures on small caps advanced, indicating the Russell 2000 Index will rise a fourth day, after benchmark indexes extended records amid optimism over the economic recovery.

Futures on the Russell 2000 expiring in December rose 0.3% to 1,188.6 at 10:49 a.m. in London following the measure's 2.5% rally in the past three days. Contracts on the S&P 500 added 0.1% to 2,069.6, after the underlying gauge reached an all-time high yesterday. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts rose 20 points, or 0.1%, to 17,812 Tuesday.

The S&P 500 has rallied 11% from its low last month as data signaled the U.S. economy is improving, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to raise inflation as fast as possible, and China unexpectedly cut interest rates.

“Trading is quiet as we approach this week's Thanksgiving holiday after markets surged to new records,” said Patrick Spencer, head of U.S. equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co. in London. “Any consolidation is typically short lived, as the general optimism surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday impacts investors. I'm looking to finish 2014 on a high note.”

U.S. stock markets are closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and open for a half day on Friday.

Commerce Department data at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show the U.S. expanded more slowly in the third quarter than initially estimated, economists predicted. A Conference Board release at 10 a.m. in New York will probably show consumer confidence extended a seven-year high in November.


Nuance Communications Inc. rose 4.2% to $15.95 in early New York trading. The maker of speech-recognition software reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 33 cents, beating analyst forecasts of 28 cents.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. fell 1.1% to $2.80 in Germany. An investor accused company directors of violating an executive-compensation plan by giving new CEO Lisa Su more than 6 million shares as part of her pay package.

Post Holdings Inc. slipped 5.8% to $34.95. The company forecast a decline of $15 million to $20 million in first-quarter RTE cereal sales from a year earlier.


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