Thursday preview: US data to steal focus as markets quieten down for the holidays

by | Dec 20, 2023

(Sharecast News) – As scheduled corporate results begin to die down ahead of the festive break, much of Thursday’s focus will be on economic data from the US, as markets continue to watch indicators closely for any hints at what the future holds for monetary policy.
Markets have risen strongly over the past week, with Wall Street’s Dow Jones continuing to set record highs and the S&P 500 nearing its all-time peak on the back of rising hopes that the Federal Reserve will move ahead with interest-rate cuts in the first half of 2024 in response to falling inflation and softening economic data.

The third estimate of US third-quarter GDP is due out at 1330 on Thursday and is expected to confirm earlier numbers that show that economic growth picked up to an annualised rate of 5.2%, from 2.1% in the second quarter.

Thursday also sees the release of unemployment benefits figures, with initial weekly jobless claims expected to total 215,000 in the week to 8 December, up from 202,000 the week before.

Then there’s the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey which is forecast to tick up to -3.0 in December from -5.9 in November.

Over in London, a number of blue-chip stocks will be trading ex-dividend on Thursday, and will likely provide a drag on markets as they trade without the entitlement to their latest shareholder payout. These include Britvic, Topps Tiles, British American Tobacco, Halma and United Utilities,

Thursday 21 December


Alpha Financial Markets Consulting, British American Inv Trust, Octopus Titan VCT


CML Microsystems, Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust, Halma, Montanaro European Smaller Companies Trust, MS International, Octopus AIM VCT, Pharos Energy , PHSC, United Utilities Group


Vaalco Energy, Inc (DI)


Abrdn DIversified Income And Growth, Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust, British American Tobacco, Law Debenture Corp., Mercantile Investment Trust (The), Real Estate Investors


Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)

Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)

Personal Consumption Expenditures (US) (13:30)

Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (13:30)

Gross Domestic Produce Annualised Q3 (US) (13:30)


Pathfinder Minerals , Verditek


Datang International Power Generation Co Ltd.


Beeks Financial Cloud Group, Gfinity , VietNam Holding Ltd


Aeorema Communications, Britvic, JPMorgan Japanese Inv Trust, Smart (J) & Co., Topps Tiles

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