Futures Improve After Jobs, GDP Reports

Stock index futures gained a bit of ground following economic reports on jobless claims and gross domestic product came in better than expected.

Jobless claims fell 10,000 to 570,000, while revised GDP came in at a 1 percent drop, a bit better than the initial number.

Futures had been flat to slightly negative before the 8:30 reports but turned slightly positive after.

This week still has two more trading sessions, but so far, it's been marked by typical late summer activity — light volume, relatively little market-moving news, and in this case, lack of movement in the major averages.

Though the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are all higher for the week, those movements have been minimal, putting them on pace for the smallest weekly move (up OR down) since the week that ended June 12.

  • Dow 30: Extra-Hour Quotes
  • Pre-Markets/Futures Data
  • The S&P moved less than a point both Monday and Wednesday, and the Dow moved less than five points on both those days as well.

    American International Group shares gained more than 10 percent after the company's new chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday that he did not support a fire sale of the troubled insurer's assets. AIG's stock has nearly tripled in price since the beginning of August when it named Robert Benmosche as its new CEO.

    Dow component Boeing shares jumped more than 6 percent after the company said its 787 Dreamliner would make its first flight by the end of this year, with the first delivery expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.

    Citigroup shares were among the most actively traded premarket, rising about 2.3 percent following a report in the New York Post that hedge fund manager John Paulson has been buying the company's shares.

    The Treasury auctions $28 billion in 7-year notes today, the last of three note auctions this week. Once again, we'll see the results shortly after 1 pm New York time.

    A widely watched earnings report comes after the bell, with quarterly numbers from Dell .

    Before the bell, Toll Brothers reported a smaller than expected loss for its latest quarter. The company also reported it was able to cut incentives and raise prices in some of its markets, and that cancellation rates are dropping. Shares fell more han 2 percent premarket.

    TiVo could be a stock to watch as it reported a smaller-than-expected loss, with sales exceeding estimates. It's also filing lawsuits against both Verizon and AT&T over patents regarding its time-shifting DVR technology.

    In technology, Microsoft is following the lead of Sony and cutting the price of its Xbox 360 high-end model by $100 to $299.99, just a few days after Sony cut its Playstation 3 to the same price.

    — Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.