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Stock futures rise on Wednesday night

Expect the Santa rally to last through January: Essex Investments Nancy Prial

Stock futures rose slightly in overnight trade on Wednesday after better-than-expected earnings and strong consumer sentiment data helped lift stocks for another day.

Stock futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Averages rose 38 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.15%. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.12 percent.

Micron Technology shares fell 2% in overnight trading on disappointing quarterly results. Under Armor shares traded between gains and losses after the athletic apparel maker tapped Marriott CEO Stephanie Linnartz as its next CEO.

The overnight moves followed another positive session for stocks. During regular trading on Wednesday, the Dow rose 526.74 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 1.49% and 1.54%, respectively.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the day higher, leading energy to the upside. Shares of Nike and FedEx rose on quarterly results, giving some investors hope that earnings will be decent despite concerns about a slowdown. Strong consumer sentiment data for December also gave markets a lift.

Although better earnings results likely factored into Wednesday’s upbeat market sentiment, oversold conditions may have contributed to the rally, according to Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist.

“I think there were a couple of earnings reports that came out that were marginally better than expected,” she said. “But I also think that the market has been in another corrective phase, and on some technical moves it has become a little oversold. Buyers stepped in. It’s hard to put your finger directly on the movements on a day-to-day basis.”

Even with Wednesday’s rally, stocks are on course to end the month with losses. The Dow is down 3.51%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have fallen 4.94% and 6.62% respectively. All three major averages are projected to snap a 3-year winning streak and deliver their worst annual performance since 2008.

On Thursday, investors await earnings results from Carmax and data on unemployment claims.

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