Investors have chosen to be optimistic and the US technology index has recovered 2.7% thanks in particular to Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet, which has also helped to pull the S&P500 whose gains have reached 1.56%.
Still, tensions remain high in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. China has launched several military exercises around the island as retaliation.
Central banks are omnipresent, probably because they are forced to occupy the field after having failed in their mission of price control.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates by half a point to 1.75%, the highest level since 2008 and the sixth consecutive rise. It has cut its growth forecasts, and now sees the economy falling into recession from Q4 2022.
The Bank of Brazil also raised rates by 50 basis points earlier today to 13.75%, as inflation flirted with 12% in the country in June.
As we can see, the fight against inflation is far from over, even if the drop in commodity prices should start to be felt. Industrial metals and agricultural products are down about 20% over the last three months, while energy prices have returned more than 10%.
There are still a lot of corporate earnings releases this week, before the source dries up a bit as early as next week. Today, they include Eli Lilly and Amgen.
In other news, U.S. jobless claims progressed in the week ending July 30 to 260,000 from 254,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting an average of 259,000 jobless claims.
This morning, US stock futures remained flat amid geopolitical tensions.
Economic highlights of the day:
The dollar is down 0.3% to EUR 0.9815. Gold remains in a holding pattern around USD 1783. Oil resumed its decline, with North Sea Brent at USD 97 per barrel and US WTI light crude at USD 91. The yield on 10-year U.S. debt has stabilized at 2.71%. Bitcoin is trading around USD 23,000.
* eBay reported second-quarter revenue above analysts' expectations on Wednesday, as a focus on luxury goods sales cushioned the impact of slowing spending and weakness in some European markets.
* Alibaba - The Chinese group on Thursday beat market expectations for revenue in the three months to the end of June, although its growth was flat for the first time due to coronavirus-related confinements. The stock was up 5% in New York in pre-market trading.
* Cigna Corp on Thursday raised its annual profit forecast for a second straight quarter, as a slower-than-expected recovery in elective medical procedures helped it control costs while demand for its healthcare services products remains strong.
* MetLife - The insurer reported a 22% decline in quarterly profit Wednesday as lower investment returns offset gains from higher premiums.
* Eli Lilly - The pharmaceutical company was down 6.3% in premarket trading after lowering its annual profit forecast and reporting net income down nearly a third in the second quarter.
* Paramount Global reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday thanks to the success of the movie "Top Gun: Maverick," though growth in its streaming business slowed. The stock was down 3% in pre-market trading.
* Lucid Group - The electric vehicle maker cut its 2022 production targets in half and was down 11.8% before the open.
* Albermarle - The leading producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries raised its annual forecast Wednesday and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. It was up 6 percent in pre-market trading.
* Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, reported higher second-quarter operating profit on Thursday and raised its full-year revenue forecast.
* Marathon Oil reported adjusted net income of $934 million on Wednesday, beating analysts' expectations, according to Refintiv IBES data.
* ConocoPhillips - The oil producer raised its forecast for shareholder returns by $5 billion on Thursday after posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings, sending the stock up about 3% in pre-opening trading.
* Booking Holdings reported higher quarterly revenue Wednesday, helped by increased bookings amid strong summer travel demand.
* Walmart is cutting hundreds of jobs as part of a restructuring effort, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
* Twitter - The Delaware Chancery Court judge who will decide the dispute over Elon Musk's aborted $44 billion takeover of Twitter announced that the appeal filed by the billionaire would be made public by Aug. 5.
* Amazon - Hundreds of employees at a warehouse of the online retail giant in Tilbury, in southeast England, walked out to demand a bigger pay raise, the GMB union said Thursday.