(Corrects analyst's name in paragraph 6)
* Jobless claims fell to 44-year low last week - report
* Dow scales 21,000 on Wednesday as banks rise
* March rate hike odds increase to 74 pct
* Futures up: Dow 33 pts, S&P 0.25 pts, Nasdaq 5.75 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
March 2 U.S. stocks looked set to climb further
on Thursday after a record day on Wednesday, as strong economic
data added to the optimism about the U.S. economy.
Wall Street's main indexes rallied on Wednesday and the Dow
Jones Industrial Average sailed past the 21,000 mark, boosted by
President Donald Trump's more measured tone in a speech to
Congress and as bank stocks surged on increased possibility of
an interest rate hike this month.
A report from the Labor Department on Thursday showed that
the number of Americans who applied for jobless claims fell to a
44-year low last week, pointing to continued strength in the
The data supported a flurry of encouraging comments on the
economy from Federal Reserve officials that has nudged the
markets to price in higher chances of an interest rate hike in
two weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to speak on Friday.
Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard, who is typically dovish on
rates, said on Wednesday that a move on rates could come "soon".
"Even on the Federal Reserve Board, the last of the doves is
finally acknowledging that if things seem strong enough we've
got some cover here to move," said Mike Mussio, president of FBB
The odds for a move this month jumped to 74 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data. Before the influential New
York Fed president William Dudley spoke on Tuesday, the chances
were roughly 30 percent.
The dollar index was up on Thursday after gaining the
most in nearly eight weeks a day earlier.
Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.16 percent, at
8:31 a.m. ET (1331 GMT), with 26,591 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent,
with 153,230 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.11
percent, on volume of 21,406 contracts.
The trading debut of Snap Inc, the owner of popular
messaging app Snapchat, is scheduled on the New York Stock
Exchange under the ticker. Snap on Wednesday priced its
initial public offering above its target range, raising $3.4
billion and giving the company a $24 billion valuation.
Oil, however, could dampen spirits as prices fell more than
1 percent following a report that showed U.S. crude oil stocks
hit an all-time high.
Among stocks, Kroger dropped 3.8 percent to $30.85 in
premarket trading after the supermarket operator reported a
surprise decline in holiday-quarter same-store sales.
JD.com rose 4.3 percent to $32 as the Chinese
e-commerce company reported a 47 percent jump in fourth-quarter
Broadcom rose 5.05 percent to $226.01 after the
chipmaker reported quarterly revenue above analysts'
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by