U.S. Stock Futures Extend Gains After Housing, Jobless Data
U.S. stock futures extended gains as data showed the number of building permits jumped to the highest level in four years during July while jobless claims were little changed last week.
S&P 500 futures expiring in September rose 0.2 percent to 1,406.8 at 8:35 a.m. in New York.
New-home construction in the U.S. fell in July, while the number of building permits advanced, indicating the industry will keep improving in the second half of the year.
Starts fell 1.1 percent to a 746,000 annual rate from June’s 754,000 pace, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 756,000. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, rose to an 812,000 pace, the most since August 2008.
Jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Aug. 11, Labor Department figures showed. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 365,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 363,750, the fewest since the week ended March 31.
The S&P 500 added 0.1 percent yesterday as investors weighed manufacturing data for clues on whether the Federal Reserve will move to stimulate the economy. The index has fluctuated around 1,400 for the past seven trading sessions, with intraday price movement averaging 0.6 percent, the smallest fluctuation over a comparable period since January 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Trading volume and volatility have dropped as vacationing traders awaited policy clues from the Fed’s summit at the end of the month and the European Central Bank meeting in September. The index has rallied 10 percent from a five-month low on June 1 amid speculation global central banks will introduce further stimulus measures.