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Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Thursday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, February 7:

1. U.S. Futures Point to Lower Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open, as market players looked ahead to the latest batch of quarterly earnings reports.

At 5:20AM ET (10:20 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures were down 100 points, or about 0.4%, the S&P 500 futures shed 11 points, or roughly 0.4%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 36 points, or around 0.5%.

The moves in premarket come after Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 snapping a five-day winning streak.

Elsewhere, European stocks were lower, with nearly all major bourses across the continent in negative territory after the European Commission cut its growth forecasts for the region's economy.

Earlier, shares in Asia closed mixed in subdued trade, as several markets in the region remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

2. Twitter Highlights Another Busy Day of Earnings

In earnings, most of the focus will fall on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), which reports before the bell at 7:00AM ET (12:00 GMT). The social media network is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings per share of $0.25 on revenue of $868.24 million, according to analysts polled by Investing.com.

Perhaps of greater interest, Wall Street will be closely watching the change in monthly active user numbers, which usually plays a much bigger role in how its stock moves post-earnings.

Other high-profile names releasing quarterly results today include, Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB), Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE), Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), Kellogg (NYSE:K), T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), Tapestry (NYSE:TPR), and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), which are all set to report during premarket hours.

Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), Skechers (NYSE:SKX), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), and Western Union (NYSE:WU) are among the major companies set to report earnings results after Thursday's market close.


Read more: Twitter Clean-Up, Video Push Should Boost Q4 Earnings Even If Users Slip: Haris Anwar

3. U.S. Data, Fed Speakers on Tap

On the data front, investors are likely to monitor weekly jobless claims figures due at 8:30AM ET (13:30 GMT) and consumer credit numbers at 3PM ET (20:00 GMT).

A number of Federal Reserve officials are also due to speak on Thursday, as investors look for further hints into the outlook for monetary policy in the months ahead.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will be taking part in a Q&A in Texas at 9:15AM ET (14:15 GMT).

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida will then speak about the neutral interest rate at the Czech National Bank conference, in Prague, at 9:30AM ET (14:30 GMT).

At 7:30PM ET, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will be speaking on the state of the U.S. economy in Minnesota.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday the U.S. economy remains in a "good place," with low unemployment and inflation near the Fed's 2% target.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.2% at 96.35, the highest level since Jan. 24.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasury prices inched higher, pushing yields lower across the curve, with the benchmark 10-year yield falling to 2.67%.

4. Bank of England Policy Announcement

In Europe, the Bank of England will hold a policy meeting, though no change is expected amid growing uncertainty over the prospect of Britain exiting the European Union on March 29 with no deal in place.

Governor Mark Carney and his fellow interest rate-setters are expected to keep borrowing costs on hold at 0.75% when the Bank of England makes its policy announcement at 7:00AM ET (12:00 GMT).

The BoE's new economic growth and inflation forecasts will be watched as a sign of whether it thinks investors are being too relaxed by betting on no rate hikes until late 2019.

5. May Heads to Brussels for Brexit Talks

Besides the BoE, political headlines will also be in focus as investors watch developments surrounding ongoing Brexit negotiations.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is heading to Brussels to seek changes to her Brexit deal with the European Union (EU), with just 50 days to go until the U.K. is due to leave the EU.

She will meet with EU officials including Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Council President Donald Tusk and the European parliament's Antonio Tajani, among others.

The pound was lower, with GBP/USD down 0.25% to a two-week low of $1.2900.

-- Reuters contributed to this report


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