Stock futures climb after strong economic data helps ease Omicron concerns

Contracts on the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq ticked up ahead of Thursday trading, building on back-to-back sessions of gains as fears the Omicron variant would derail economic growth cooled among investors who sold-off risky assets at the start of the week on reports of swelling case numbers.

Futures on all three major indexes were in the green. The Dow Industrial Average saw a 100-point jump early Thursday, while the S&P and Nasdaq also edged higher.

The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims totaled 205,000, sustaining a downward trend from the highs of their pandemic peak and reflecting labor market tightness brought on by a demand for workers heading into the new year. The latest print brings the four-week moving average for new claims to its lowest in 52 years, ticking up by 2,750 week-over-week to reach 206,250.

The moves follow positive economic data that curbed worries of Omicron’s impact on the economy and inflation levels.

In Wednesday’s trading session, investors weighed an upbeat print on consumer confidence levels and the release of an upwardly revised estimate for domestic GDP, placing all three major averages in the green after a mixed open.

The Conference Board reported consumer confidence increased by a greater-than-expected margin in December, with the headline index at 115.8 during the month and higher than Bloomberg’s consensus estimates of 111.0. In November, the index had a reading of 111.9, revised from an initial report of 109.5. Meanwhile,…

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