On Thrusday, stocks managed to finish the session higher after wobbly trading as oil prices dropped and Citigroup announced further writedowns. The Dow industrials ended 34 points, or 0.28%, higher, the S&P 500 added 5 points, or 0.38%, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 32 points, or 1.33%.
As there are no economic reports due today, investors will eye oil prices after crude-oil futures declined $5 a barrel Thursday following news that China is raising retail fuel prices starting Friday. As countries reduce subsidies for gas, many believe it could slow demand. This morning, oil prices traded a little higher at mid $132 per barrel.
Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) said late Thursday that it's cutting 1,200 more jobs, mostly in areas that have been hit hard by the mortgage crisis as the savings and loan institution incurs further losses tied to subprime home mortgages. WaMu stock is down over 1% in premarket trading.
Continental (NYSE: CAL) and UAL Corp.'s (NASDAQ: UAUA) United Airlines announced Thursday a marketing alliance Thursday that may help raise revenue to offset rising fuel costs. Both stocks are down over 8% and over 2% respectively in premaket trading.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) may also be in the spotlight after the Wall Street Journal reported it is planning a major reorganization of its business and could announce it as early as next week.