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Can Wall Street Maintain Momentum?

U.S. stock futures are holding steady as investors anxiously await earnings reports from top investment banks and companies.

Goldman Sachs again showed its trading prowess, helping the Wall Street firm earn more than $3 billion in the third quarter. The company has reported Thursday that fixed income, commodities and currency trading buoyed its profits for the second straight quarter.

Investors are looking for more evidence that the economy is on the path to recovery, following the lead of JPMorgan Chase, whose upbeat earnings report on Wednesday helped propel the Dow Jones industrials past the 10,000 mark for the first time in a year.

Earnings reports from Citigroup, Southwest Airlines, Google and IBM are also on tap Thursday.

Investors will also get reports on the labor market and inflation.

Economists believe new claims for jobless benefits likely rose slightly last week to 525,000. First-time claims, an indicator of recent layoffs, fell in the prior week to their lowest level since early January. Separately, economists expect the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index rose just 0.2 percent in September, after a 0.4 percent gain in August and a flat reading in July.

Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 8 at 9,960. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 0.50 at 1,088, while Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 0.25 at 1,748.

Wednesday's milestone capped a stunning 53 percent comeback for the Dow since early March, when stocks were at their lowest levels in more than a decade.

"It's almost like an announcement that the bear market is over," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. in Boston. "That is an eye-opener - 'Hey, you know what, things must be getting better because the Dow is over 10,000."'

Added CBS News' Moneywatch editor-at-large Jill Schlesinger, "It's never as good or as bad as you think."

However, the Dow is still 29 percent off its all time high and the market first hit 10,000 all the way back in 1999, CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor reports.

European stock markets eased lower Thursday, a day after forecast-busting earnings from JP Morgan Chase & Co. pushed many of the world's major indexes up to year highs.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 9.30 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,246.8. Meanwhile Germany's DAX fell 1.01 points, or 0.02 percent, to 5,853.5 and France's CAC-40 was flat at 3,883.2.

Earlier in Asia, stocks had rallied hard, as investors caught up with the gains posted in Europe and the U.S. Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average gained 178.44 points, or 1.8 percent, to 10,238.65, and Hong Kong's benchmark added 112.60, or 0.5 percent, to 21,999.08, hitting a new high for the year during trade.

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