Investing.com – Wall Street edged up on Thursday despite weak labor market data ahead of the monthly employment report and while waiting for Federal Reserve (Fed) officials to speak later in the session, as oil continued to surge more than 2%.
At 15:08GMT, or 11:08AM ET, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, continued to recover from 16-month lows and was trading up 0.49% at 93.73.
For the rest of the session, markets will focus on speeches from several Fed officials throughout the day in an attempt to measure the position of the U.S. central bank on eventual policy tightening.
Kashkari suggested that, as long as inflation remains low, the Fed will focus on the labor market and indicated that future rate hikes would not occur until “the data allows it” , but gave no specifics on what he was focusing on.
St. Louis Fed president James Bullard is due to speak on the economy at 15:30GMT, or 11:30AM ET, at Santa Barbara County's Economic Summit.
San Francisco Fed president John Williams was scheduled to appear on CNBC at 17:40GMT, or 13:40ET.
Both Bullard and Williams will then join up with Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart and Dallas Fed president Rob Kaplan at the Hoover Institution's International Monetary Stability Conference to participate in a panel after Wall Street closes at 23:15GMT, or 19:15ET.
Meanwhile, oil surged on Thursday as Canadian forest fires caused many of the companies in the rich oil sand area to close down pipelines and escalating tensions in Libya caused concern over short-term supply.
In earnings news, Merck&Co (NYSE:MRK) led the Dow lower, losing almost 2% after a fall in the second largest U.S. drugmaker’s revenue caused it to miss consensus.
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