U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, setting the stage for a positive opening for the Dow and S&P 500.
• The Dow has been up in six of the past seven sessions, while the S&P 500 has gained in seven of the past eight trading days.
• Among individual stocks, the two top percentage gainers in the S.&P. 500 yesterday were Newfield Exploration Company and Praxair Inc.
• Comcast (CMCSA), 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Walt Disney (DIS) are all on watch this morning after the U.K.’s takeover panel announced that it would begin an auction process for broadcaster Sky this weekend.
o The portion of Sky that Fox already owns is among the assets it is selling to Disney, and the NBCUniversal parent currently has the highest offer on the table for Sky.
The Labor Department releases its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m.
• Initial claims fell 3,000 in the September 15 week to 201,000 with the 4-week average down 2,250 to 205,750. Both of these readings are at new 50-year lows.
• Continuing claims for the September 8 week fell a very sharp 55,000 to 1.645 million with this 4-week average down 20,000 to 1.692 million.
• Both of these readings are at new 46-year lows.
The National Association of Realtors releases August existing home sales at 10 a.m. ET.
In Asia, the indexes closed mixed at the end of the day’s trading, with the Hang Seng having had the greatest change, up by 0.26%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed little changed to round off the best week in two years for the country’s equities.
European indexes are moving upwards, led by the CAC 40, up by 0.84%. The Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent higher with banks among the best performers.
Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants and recreational vehicle-maker Thor Industries are out with quarterly earnings this morning.
Micron Technology and Steelcase and food producer United Natural Foods will be out with earnings after the stock market closes.
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