STOCK MARKET NEWS: Stocks close lower on mixed economic data

STOCK MARKET NEWS: Stocks close lower on mixed economic data

U.S. equity futures were trading higher Thursday morning, after the Labor Department announced that a tentative agreement had been reached to avoid what would have been a crippling railroad worker strike.

The major futures indexes suggest a a gain of 0.2% when trading begins on Wall Street.

Oil prices remained steady on Thursday as the market balanced weak demand with supply disruption ahead of a potential rail stoppage in the United States.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude traded around $87.00.

Brent crude futures were around $93.00 a barrel.

Early Thursday morning, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh announced via Twitter that a tentative deal had been reached.

Traders will have a heavy load of economic data to sift through, ranging from retail sales, jobless claims and industrial production among others.

In Asia, China’s central bank left its benchmark lending rate unchanged. The Shanghai Composite index lost 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.4%.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.2%.

Trading was tentative in New York on Wednesday, a day after the market’s worst drop in two years was set off by fears that higher interest rates could cause a recession.

A report on inflation at the wholesale level showed prices are still rising rapidly, with pressures building underneath the surface, even if overall inflation slowed. 

The S&P 500 added 0.3% to 3,946.01, while the Dow inched 0.1% higher, to 31,135.09. The Nasdaq gained 0.7% to 11,719.68.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was 3.44% Thursday morning.