North American financial markets are going to a greater open today, fresh on the heels of the three-day rally, as oil prices continued to rise.
Brent crude prices were up 2.5 per cent, rising for the second straight day after Iran supported plans to freeze output and a report showed a surprise drop in U.S. inventory.
Oil prices have heavily influenced stock markets this season as investors run for cover amid mounting concerns of a slowdown in global growth.
Thank you @RyanDetrick S&P 500 hasn't rallied 1%+ for three days consecutively since October 1982 – 4th day was +2.61%
— Frances Horodelski (@fhoro) February 18, 2016
The market rout and the global slowdown also have weighed on U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, who are considering altering the central bank’s rate of interest hike program for 2016.The worldwide economy keeps growing at a stubbornly weak pace and governments ought to be deploying fiscal tools alongside monetary policy to stoke growth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in its latest outlook Thursday.The number of Americans declaring unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to labor market strength that may keep Fed rate of interest hikes on the table this year.Revenue slid 7.5 percent at Canadian Tire within the fourth quarter, but the retailer of auto parts and outdoor goods were able to boost earnings and same-store sales at its core retail business despite an uncharacteristically warm winter.Shares of Wal-Mart were down 4 per cent at $63.48 premarket following the retailer cut its full-year sales growth forecast.IBM rose 2.8 percent to $129.65 after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight,” saying the business’s transformation to a cloud-focused clients are underappreciated.Wall Street closed up on Wednesday, led by energy shares, using the S&P 500 and the Dow logging their first three-day run of gains for the year.
Still, the S&P 500 is down 5.7 per cent this year and off 9.6 percent from its peak near the coast May.
? Thomson Reuters 2016