Stocks set to surge, extending rally, as G-20 summit underway

U.S. stock futures surged Thursday, indicating Wall Street could extend Wednesday's rally as investors are cautiously optimistic about the economy and feel that the bear market and financial crisis may have bottomed as the G-20 meeting of world leaders is underway.

The G-20 Summit, with leaders of twenty of the world's richest and major developing countries, officially kicked off in London Wednesday evening. The leaders began talks aimed at reaching a new deal on the global economy, hoping to clear up divisions over how far to go with tougher financial regulation. Already reports say the IMF fund would be tripled to $750 billion.

World stock markets have reacted favorably to events so far and soared Thursday, with Hong Kong's benchmark vaulting more than 7 percent. The main reason is stronger-than-expected U.S. economic figures despite the plunge in March auto sales. Asian markets closed with huge gains, while Europe opened strong.

Oil rose above $49 a barrel Thursday, again on hopes that the U.S. economy may be stabilizing that outweighed concerns that global demand remains weak as U.S. inventories continued to increase. Other commodities such as copper and industrial metals also gained.

Data today includes:

  • Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims, due at 8:30 AM
  • February Factory Orders, due at 10:00 AM
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