U.S. Futures Point to Narrow Gains Ahead of Data

U.S. stock futures were trading flat to narrow gains as traders looked ahead to the release of several readings on the U.S. economy.

Oil prices edged higher with global benchmark Brent Crude up 0.70%, and U.S. crude West Texas Intermediate was up 0.28% recently on expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia would extend production cuts.

Data released at 7:30 a.m. showed Challenger job cuts of 32,346 for September as compared to August’s 33,825 level, according to data compiled by Econoday.

At 8:30 a.m., forecasters see the U.S. trade deficit narrowing to $42.5 billion in August from prior month’s level of $43.7 billion. New unemployment claims are seen falling to 265,000 in the Sept. 30 week vs 272,000 in the prior week.

At 10:00 a.m., factory orders are expected to rise 1% in August following July’s 3.3% decline.

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, and Presidents John Williams, Patrick Harker, and Esther George are scheduled to give speeches Thursday.

In equities, shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) were 13.9% lower after Mylan launched generic version of Teva’s multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone injectables.

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