Stock market news live updates: Stock futures higher as rally continues

Stock futures were higher early Thursday as investors looked to extend a rally from Wednesday that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq gain nearly 3%.

Near 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow futures were up 0.5%, while S&P 500 futures were up 0.3%, and Nasdaq futures were higher by 0.2%.

Following inflation data on Wednesday that showed the consumer price index was unchanged from June to July, the Nasdaq gained 2.9% amid a charge higher across risk assets. From mid-June lows, the Nasdaq is now up more than 20%.

On Thursday morning, investors will get another reading on prices when the producer price index is released at 8:30 a.m. ET, while the latest weekly data on initial jobless claims will offer an update on the state of the U.S. labor market.

July’s inflation report came as energy prices continue to moderate across the economy with the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. falling below $4 a gallon for the first time since March on Thursday, according to data from AAA.

Wednesday’s CPI data showed the price of gasoline fell 7.7% from June to July. On June 11, the average price of a gallon of gas topped $5 nationally.

The price of WTI crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, was up about 1% on Thursday morning to trade just below $93 a barrel.

Elsewhere in markets, cryptocurrencies continue to trade more constructively, with the price of bitcoin up more than 6% early Thursday to north of $24,500, the highest level for the market’s largest cryptocurrency since mid-June.

Ethereum was up even more early Thursday, rising 11% to nearly $1,900, the highest since late May.

Traders will also be closely watching the VIX, known as the market’s “fear index,” which closed below 20 for the first time since early April on Wednesday, as expected volatility declines while the market’s rally from mid-June lows continues.

On the earnings side, shares of Disney (DIS) were in focus early Thursday with the stock up more than 8% in pre-market trading following an earnings report out Wednesday that topped expectations.

Notably, the company reported the addition of more Disney+ subscribers in the quarter than expected — adding 14.4 million against estimates for an increase of 10 million — and announced price increases across its streaming offerings, in addition to a new ad-supported tier of its core Disney+ offering in the U.S.

Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie welcome visitors at Disneyland Paris as the theme park reopens its doors to the public in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, July 15, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

This post will be updated.

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