Stock futures up, eyes on Disney-Fox deal, bank stocks

Stock futures up, eyes on Disney-Fox deal, bank stocks© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in

By Rama Venkat Raman

(Reuters) – was set for a slightly higher open on Thursday as traders focused on a $52.4 billion stock deal between Walt Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox and gains in shares of big banks.

– Shares of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (O:) jumped 2.9 percent in premarket trading after Walt Disney (N:) agreed to buy the Fox’s film, television and international businesses. Disney shares rose 1 percent.

– Shares of (N:), JPMorgan (N:), Wells Fargo (N:) and Bank of America (N:) rose between 0.34 percent and 1 percent ahead of market open.

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– On Wednesday, bank stocks fell despite an interest rate hike by the as kept its rate outlook for 2018 and 2019 unchanged while raising gross domestic product growth forecasts.

– Republicans in the Senate and the House reached a deal on final tax legislation on Wednesday, paving the way for final votes next week on a package that would slash the corporate tax rate to 21 percent.

– The Bank of kept interest rates unchanged at 0.5 percent on Thursday, while the is due to announce its policy decision later in the day.

– A report is likely to show retail sales rose 0.3 percent in November, after climbing 0.2 percent in October, while the weekly initial jobless claims are expected to have increased by 3,000 to 239,000. The reports are due at 8:30 a.m ET (1330 ).

– U.S.-listed shares of Valeant (N:) were down 5.2 percent after JP Morgan cut the stock’s rating to ‘underweight’

snapshot at 6:59 a.m. ET:

– Dow e-minis () were up 32 points, or 0.13 percent, with 5,158 contracts changing hands.

– S&P 500 e-minis () were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 51,481 contracts traded.

– Nasdaq 100 e-minis () were up 7.75 points, or 0.12 percent, on volume of 5,269 contracts.

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