January 4, 2018 / 12:37 PM / 19 days ago

US STOCKS-Dow eyes 25,000 on signs of strong global growth

* Futures up: Dow 72 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 11.5 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

Jan 4 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to breach the 25,000 mark for the first time on Thursday as upbeat economic data from around the world boosted sentiment.

Dow futures were trading 50 points short of the mark. The blue-chip index crossed 20,000 in early 2017, spurred by President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda.

At 6:54 a.m. ET (1154 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 72 points, or 0.29 percent, with 18,013 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.13 percent, with 98,977 contracts traded. The index closed above the 2,700 mark on Wednesday.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 11.5 points, or 0.17 percent, on volume of 19,612 contracts.

World stocks hit record on Thursday, driven by strong manufacturing and services sector data in major economies and the Federal Reserve affirming its view of gradual interest rate hikes this year.

The ADP National Employment Report, due at 8:15 a.m. ET, is expected to show that U.S. private employers added 190,000 jobs in December, in line with additions in November.

The more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday is expected to show the economy added 190,000 jobs in December, down from the 228,000 additions in November.

A report on the weekly jobless claims and Markit’s final U.S. Composite Purchasing Managers Index for December are also scheduled for release on Thursday.

Oil rose further above $68 a barrel to the highest since May 2015, supported by unrest in Iran, cold weather in the United States boosting demand and OPEC-led output cuts.

The Cboe Volatility Index, a widely followed measure of market anxiety, was at 9, just above the life low of 8.56.

Among stocks, Teva Pharmaceuticals rose 2.56 percent premarket after Citigroup upgraded the Israeli drugmaker’s stock to “buy” from “sell”.

Tesla’s shares fell about 3 percent after the electric car maker delayed a production target for its new Model 3 sedan for the second time.

J.C. Penney rose 5.4 percent after the department store operator said its same-store sales during the key selling months of November and December rose 3.4 percent.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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