ATHENS — NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures jumped sharply Thursday after the president of the European Central Bank vowed to preserve the continent's monetary union.
The euro has tumbled against the dollar and investors have fled stocks with the debt crisis in Europe threatening to drag more nations there into recession. European companies have been hit particularly hard and their shares in the U.S. have taken a beating this week.
However, after comments from ECB President Mario Draghi, Dow Jones industrial futures rose 127 points to 12,764 and the broader S&P futures added 16.4 points at 1,351.50. Nasdaq futures tacked on 34.5 points at 2,578 despite more disappointing news from the technology sector.
Zynga and Facebook fell sharply in premarket trading Thursday after Zynga cut its outlook. Facebook reports its quarterly earnings after the bell.
There was bad news from other sectors as well.
Dow Chemical, the country's largest chemical maker, said it will probably accelerate cost-cutting efforts after its second-quarter net income fell 34 percent. Sprint Nextel posted a wider loss and profit for the parent company of United Airlines dropped 37 percent.
Futures appeared to signal a down day before Draghi spoke during and investor conference taking place at the Olympics in the U.K.
Draghi said that the "ECB will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," within the EU mandate, apparently providing the assurance markets needed to rally, even as more disappointing earnings emerged from major U.S. corporations.
Dow Jones futures, which had been down 40 points, reversed course almost immediately, as did other futures markets.
Yet there were other hints at trouble for the U.S. economy, which did seem to curb the strength of the rally.
Business cut back on orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods last month if aircraft and other transportation equipment are excluded. That would suggest that U.S. manufacturing continues to suffer.
The Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in June, but orders actually fell 1.1 percent, the third decrease in four months, without transportation.
The most recent government employment data, released Thursday, was met with some skepticism because of a one-time hiring shift by U.S. auto manufacturers.
The Labor Department reported that applications fell to a seasonally adjusted 353,000, down from a revised 388,000 the previous week. It was the biggest drop since February 2011.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 8,750 to 367,250, the lowest since the end of March.
However, factories that are usually shut down by auto makers were kept open this year because of demand, which skewed results somewhat.