European Debt Crisis Could Impact U.S.

Although the European debt crisis is far from resolved, US stocks showed a slight improvement on Thursday’s opening bell, buoyed up by encouraging global manufacturing data which revealed that, although the manufacturing sector was still contracting in both the Eurozone and China this month, the pace had slowed down when compared with November’s data. Factors that contributed to Wednesday’s sell-off include anticipated interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank, the less than $1.30 rate of the euro and the stronger dollar which dragged down commodities priced in US dollars.

Thursday brings market-moving economic data, such as initial jobless claims, industrial production and producer prices, which investors will no doubt be watching closely. It is anticipated that initial jobless claims will have increased from 381,000 for the week ending 2 December, to 390,000 for last week. The Producer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to have climbed by 0.1 percent, following the previous month’s 0.3 percent drop, while November’s industrial production is expected to rise by 0.2 percent for November. Companies reporting quarterly results include FedEx, Discover and Rite Aid.