US stock futures edged higher Thursday as investors barreled through another slew of earnings and awaited weekly unemployment data from the Labor Department.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up 0.3%, while contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 80 points, or roughly 0.2%. Nasdaq futures rose 0.5%.
The moves build on gains from a major up day on Wall Street Wednesday that saw the S&P 500 climb 1.6%, bringing the benchmark index 13% above its June 16th lows – its largest bounce of the year. The VIX – Wall Street’s volatility gauge – meanwhile, has fallen to 22, its second lowest close since mid-April.
“We are clearly doing better than past ‘dead cat bounces,’ DataTrek’s Nicholas Colas said in a note, though adding that a close below 20 for the Vix within the next two months may suggest “excessive market complacency” over an equity investment environment that remains uncertain.
“Happy as we are that US equities are moving higher in more convincing form than prior 2022 rallies, we think it makes sense to stay level headed about risk-return tradeoffs until we have a clearer picture on inflation and future Fed monetary policy,” Colas said.
On the earnings front, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA) reported results for its fiscal first-quarter Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates. Shares jumped more than 5% in pre-market trading.
And in economic data, investors will get a reading on weekly jobless claims at 8:30 am ET. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect filings for unemployment insurance will rise again to 260,000 for the week ended July 30.
Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank is expected to deliver a 50 basis point point rate hike, its largest increase to interest rates since 1995.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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