The Fed announced a $2.3 trillion lending plan for the economy
In the wake of yesterday's outsized gains, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures fought their way into the black, after paring triple-digit losses from earlier this morning.Futures on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are sitting just below fair value, as investors unpack the 6.6 million rise in weekly jobless claims, which topped the 5 million estimate.
Elsewhere, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced a new $2.3 trillion lending plan focused on propping up small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. It's slated to be a busy day, with U.S. exchanges closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday and a speech from Fed Chair Jerome Powell at 10 a.m ET. Oil prices are also in focus, with May-dated crude futures up 5.1% at $26.40 per barrel, at last check, ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries+ (OPEC) meeting.
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Closing out the week today is the producer price index (PPI), the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, and wholesale inventories data. WD-40 (WDFC) will throw its hat into the earnings ring. A reminder that markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday, but data on the consumer price index and core consumer price index (CPI) will still be released.
Asian stocks were mostly higher on Thursday, with the exception of the Nikkei in Japan, which finished just below breakeven. Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.4%, China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%, and South Korea's Kospi tacked on 1.6%, as traders responded to the Bank of Korea holding its benchmark interest rate steady, which was largely expected.
In Europe, markets are modestly higher at midday with investors hoping cases in the region are beginning to reach their peak. The London FTSE 100 is up 1.1% amid news that the Bank of England (BoE) agreed to finance U.K. government borrowing temporarily. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 is up 0.1%, and the German DAX is 0.5% higher.