Dow Futures Leap As Energy Prices Ease, Debit Ceiling Deal Emerges; Jobless Claims In Focus

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Wall Street futures traded higher Thursday, while energy prices retreated from multi-year highs, as investors looked to a short-term fix in the U.S. debt ceiling saga and an easing of tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s late Wednesday olive branch to Senate Democrats on the debt ceiling sparked the biggest single-day swing on Wall Street since February, with stocks powering higher amid speculation that at least one near-term risk may be taken off the table.

White House Spokesperson Jen Paski said Wednesday that no formal plans have been received as yet, but McConnell has said he’ll support a specific, time-limited extension to the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling in order to allow Democrats time to pass a longer-term solution through the complicated process of reconciliation. 

A bigger-than-expected increase in domestic crude stocks, which the Energy Department said rose by 2.3 million barrels last week, helped pull oil prices from their seven-year highs, while hints from Russian President Vladimir Putin on increased gas supplies to Europe clipped energy market prices on the Continent.

WTI futures for November delivery were marked $1.20 lower on the session at $76.24 each, while Brent contracts for December were down 88 cents to $80.20 per barrel. 

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Europe’s Stoxx 600, the regional benchmark, rose 1.3% as markets adjusted to falling energy prices and a possible breakthrough in debt ceiling talks, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 snapped an eight-day losing streak to close 0.54% higher at 27,678.21 points amid the potential thawing of U.S.-Sino relations.

President Joe Biden will meet China’s President Xi Jingping before the end of the year, administration officials said late Wednesday, setting up the first face-to-face talks between the two world leaders since last year’s election.

On Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a 310 point opening bell gain ahead of weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 am Eastern time, while the broader S&P 500 is priced for a 43 point move to the downside . Nasdaq Composite futures, meanwhile, are set for a 185 point boost as benchmark 10-year note yields hold at 1.526% in overnight trading. 

General Motors  (GM) – Get General Motors Company (GM) Report shares were a notable early-market mover, rising 1.6% after the largest U.S. automaker unveiled plans to double it annual revenue by the end of the decade.

AT&T  (T) – Get AT&T Inc. Report shares, meanwhile, fell 1.6% as the stock went ‘ex-dividend’ and investors reacted to a Reuters report that linked its funding to the far-right media group OAN. 

Costco Wholesale  (COST) – Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report shares bumped higher, as well, after it posted a massive September sales boost that bodes well for the bulk discount retailer’s holiday season momentum.

Levi Strauss  (LEVI) – Get Levi Strauss & Co. Class A Report shares were also on the move, rising 4.3% after the causal apparel maker posted stronger-than-expected third quarter sales after the close of trading last night.