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U.S. stock index futures added to gains following reports that showed weekly jobless claims tumbled to a five-year low and housing starts jumped to their highest rate since June 2008.
Traders will be watching Thursday's earnings closely for signs of any trend that could break stocks out of their doldrums.
At almost every turn, it seems an analyst has something negative to say.
Goldman Sachs expects credit card stocks to "see further outperformance" in 2013. TheStreet.com reports.
Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.
Now why does a commodity trader care about earnings? To start, the results will affect movement in both S&P and Nasdaq futures. It also gives traders a read on the mood of the country, how consumers are spending and how companies are preparing to move forward. In my opinion, all of will can effect prices and demand for commodities.
Projecting trends is precarious business. But there are a lot of likelihoods for 2013. The economy is expected to grow, new technology releases will change consumer behavior, and demographic shifts will hit tipping points. Here are predictions for 2013.
"I think it's going to be really tough to get through this earnings season without fits or starts. There's so much riding on this earnings season because of expectations for growth going into 2013," said one analyst.
Check out which companies are making headlines after the bell Thursday:
American Express announced that it will eliminate 5,400 jobs and take a $400 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter.
They were Darlings of the Dow last year - but Cramer's kicking some to the curb.
Here is a look at the highest yielding stocks in the Dow.
After falling 18 percent in 2011, financial stocks are on track for their largest gain in nine years.
Stocks staged a sharp recovery in the final hour of trading Thursday following news that the House of Representatives will reconvene on Sunday evening to resume talks, with less than a week left until the "fiscal cliff" deadline.
Stocks slumped nearly 1 percent on Friday, but closed off the worst levels of the session, after a Republican plan to avert the "fiscal cliff" fell apart, raising fears a deal will not be reached before the end of the year.
Stocks held losses Friday, dragged by techs, as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the weekend amid ongoing worries over the looming "fiscal cliff."
Industry heavyweights -- in finance, technology, real estate, media -- weigh in on the one issue, innovation or event they think will change the world in 2013.
Consumer stocks, technology or China? "Fast Money" pros stake their positions.
Stocks posted a modest gain in thin, volatile trading Thursday ahead of the jobs report, while worries over the looming "fiscal cliff" continued to linger.
Some airline fees, such as premium seats and in-flight Wi-Fi, may be worth the cost.