Stock futures rise on Thursday morning

Stock futures rose slightly in early trading on Thursday after better-than-expected earnings and strong consumer confidence data helped boost stocks for a second day.

Stock futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Averages gained 77 points or 0.23%, while S&P 500 futures added 0.29%. Nasdaq 100 futures edged up 0.33%.

Micron Technology shares slipped 2% in overnight trading on disappointing quarterly results. Under Armor Stocks moved between gains and losses after the Athletics apparel maker picks Marriott executive Stephanie Linnartz as its next CEO.

The overnight moves followed another positive session for stocks. In regular trading on Wednesday, the Dow Jones gained 526.74 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.49% and 1.54%, respectively.

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 ended the day with gains, led by energy. Shares of Nike and FedEx rose on quarterly results, giving some investors hope earnings are doing decently despite fears of a slowdown. Good consumer sentiment data for December also gave markets a boost.

While better earnings results likely factored into the upbeat market sentiment on Wednesday, oversold conditions may have contributed to the rally, according to Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

“I think there were a few earnings reports that were slightly better than expected,” she said. “But I also think the market has entered another phase of correction and, on some technical measures, has been a bit oversold. Buyers have stepped in. Daily moves are hard to pinpoint directly.”

Even with Wednesday’s gains, stocks are poised to end the month with losses. The Dow is down 3.51%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell 4.94% and 6.62%, respectively. The three major averages should break a 3-year winning streak and post their worst annual performance since 2008.

On Thursday, investors await Carmax earnings results and unemployment insurance claims data.

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