Investing.com - U.S. stock markets pointed to gains at the open on Wednesday, with the Dow on track to hit an all-time high for the seventh straight session as investors looked ahead to a number of key earning reports while keeping an eye on oil prices.
The Dow edged up on Tuesday to close in record territory for the sixth straight day, as investors digested mostly upbeat second quarter earnings.
No major U.S. economic data is due on Wednesday, but there are dozens of earnings reports expected during the day.
Early releases are scheduled from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS), St Jude Medical Inc (NYSE:STJ), Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW), and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE:CP).
Among active pre-market movers, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rallied 4% ahead of the opening bell after the technology company reported upbeat quarterly earnings thanks to sharp growth in its commercial cloud computing business.
Meanwhile, oil prices inched higher on Wednesday, rebounding from the prior session's losses as market players looked ahead to fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil supplies at 14:30GMT, or 10:30AM ET, amid expectations for a drop of 2.1 million barrels. After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 2.3 million barrels in the week ended July 15.
Elsewhere, European stocks rose Wednesday, hovering near their strongest levels in four weeks, as investors struck a cautiously optimistic tone ahead of the European Central Bank’s meeting Thursday.
Earlier, a rally in Asian equities lost momentum, with markets in the region closing mixed.
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