By Barbara Kollmeyer and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch

Oil rebound fizzles out

U.S. stock futures relinquished some of the gains, but still pointed to a higher open on Wall Street Thursday, as the main indexes closely tracked volatile oil prices.

The rebound in crude-oil futures, which suffered the sharpest loss in weeks on Wednesday, proved short-lived, with prices edging lower in morning trade.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 30 points, or 0.2%, to 20,367, while S&P 500 futures gained 6 points, or 0.3%, to 2,339. Nasdaq-100 futures rose 20 points, or 0.4%, to 5,418.

Dragged south by losses for energystocks and for International Business Machine Corp.(IBM), the Dow industrials fell 118.79 points to 20,404.49 on Wednesday, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-primed-to-edge-higher-as-earnings-stay-center-stage-2017-04-19) marking the lowest close for the blue-chip benchmark since Feb. 10.

The S&P 500 closed down 4.02 points to 2,338.17, but the Nasdaq Composite bucked the negative trend to finish up 0.2% to 5,863.03.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures for May were rising, up 0.7% at $50.79 a barrel. Prices were recovering after a surprise climb in U.S. gasoline supplies helped push prices to their biggest one-day loss in six weeks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-steadies-as-investors-await-eia-inventory-report-2017-04-19) on Wednesday. That decline dragged in the energy sector.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is likely to reach a deal to extend the group's production cuts into the latter half of 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/opec-set-to-extend-output-deal-says-saudi-energy-minister-2017-04-20).

Economic front: "The trend of the market is down and is not likely to reverse until clarity of the underlying fear factors are put to rest," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist for First Standard Financial, in emailed comments, referencing investor jitters over the impending French election, and tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"Today's macro and earnings could set the stage for a positive opening with little change in direction," he added.

Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to a still-low 244,000 in mid-April. Meanwhile, the number of out-of-work people collecting unemployment checks fell to a 17-year low in April, underscoring the strongest U.S. labor market in years.

Separately, the manufacturing index from the Philadelphia Fed slid in April, but from high levels, suggesting slower growth in the factory sector after a post-election surge.

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, speaking about capital markets and the economy, said now was a good time to review the raft of banking regulations put in place since the financial crisis.

Earnings roll out: Shares of Philip Morris International Inc.(PM) fell 3% in premarket after the company fell short of earnings and first-quarter profit expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/philip-morris-shares-slump-after-earnings-miss-2017-04-20).

Foot Locker Inc.(FL) shares fell over 3% after the athletic apparel group issued a profit warning. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/foot-locker-shares-slide-after-profit-warning-2017-04-20)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/foot-locker-shares-slide-after-profit-warning-2017-04-20)Blackstone Group L.P.(BX) reported profit that nearly tripled, but missed expectations. Still, shares wereup nearly 3% in premarket trading.

Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) shares fell more than 2% in premarket trading after the telecom company reported first-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street expectations.

Visa Inc.(V) and Mattel Inc.(MAT) are due to report after the close.

EBay Inc.(EBAY) shares fell nearly 2% in premarket trade. The online retailer posted earnings and in-line guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ebay-stock-falls-2-after-quarterly-earnings-2017-04-19) for the new fiscal year late Wednesday.

Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM) shares gained 2.4% premarket after the chip designer beat earnings expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qualcomm-gains-after-beating-earnings-expectations-despite-apple-legal-beef-2017-04-19).

Other markets: The Nikkei 225 Index rose for a fourth straight session, leading a recovery for Asia markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-up-for-4th-straight-session-leading-asian-market-recovery-2017-04-19). European stocks were marginally higher, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/unilever-shares-push-ftse-toward-first-win-in-5-days-2017-04-20) drifted south.

However, the French CAC 40 index rallied 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-stocks-rise-ahead-of-european-peers-despite-election-worries-2017-04-20) after a Harris Interactive poll signaled a win for centrist Emmanuel Macron in Sunday's first-round presidential election. The euro shot to a three-week high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-hits-3-week-high-as-macron-holds-slim-lead-in-french-presidential-poll-2017-04-20) against the dollar of $1.0778.

Read:Here's how France's hotly contested election could spark market turmoil (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-frances-hotly-contested-election-could-spark-market-turmoil-2017-04-19)

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond inched 1 basis point higher to 2.23%.Gold prices were little changed.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 20, 2017 09:12 ET (13:12 GMT)

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