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Democratic candidates for Senate Jon Ossoff (L), Raphael Warnock (C) and US President-elect Joe Biden (R) bump elbows on stage during a rally outside Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 4, 2021. - President Donald Trump, still seeking ways to reverse his election defeat, and President-elect Joe Biden converge on Georgia on Monday for dueling rallies on the eve of runoff votes that will decide control of the US Senate. Trump, a day after the release of a bombshell recording in which he pressures Georgia officials to overturn his November 3 election loss in the southern state, is to hold a rally in the northwest city of Dalton in support of Republican incumbent senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Biden, who takes over the White House on January 20, is to campaign in Atlanta, the Georgia capital, for the Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
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NEW YORK CITY- MAY 12: People walk through a shuttered business district in Brooklyn on May 12, 2020 in New York City. Across America, people are reeling from the loss of jobs and incomes as unemployment soars to historical levels following the COVID-19 outbreak. While some states are beginning to re-open slowly, many business are struggling to find a profit with the news restrictions and a population that is fearful of the contagious virus.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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(CNN Business) —  

1. Markets gain on optimism: US stock futures were pointing higher as investors found reasons to be optimistic about developments in Washington.

He will be succeeded by Alan Jope, current head of the group’s beauty and personal care business.

The move comes after Unilever was forced to scrap a plan to move its headquarters out of the United Kingdom because of an investor revolt. Shares in Unilever (UL) were trading slightly higher on Thursday.

2. Fed moves: US stock markets staged a dramatic rally on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell hinted at a willingness to pause rate hikes next year.

The Dow soared 2.5%. The S&P 500 gained 2.3% and the Nasdaq added 3%.

The Fed has been trying to strike a balance between not moving too fast and risking shortening the US economy’s longest running expansion versus not moving too slowly and risking the economy overheating.

Stock markets have slumped recently in part because investors are worried that the Fed is hiking interest rates too aggressively.

The next big indicator could come Thursday: The central bank will release minutes from its November meeting at 2 pm. ET.

3. Global market preview: US stock futures were pointing lower. European markets opened higher, while stocks in Asia were mixed.

US crude oil prices dipped below $50 on Thursday. It’s the first time oil prices have sunk below the key psychological barrier in over a year.

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4. Earnings and economics: DISH Network (DISH), Hilton (HLT) and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH) will release earnings before the open.

The industry alliance has been rocked by the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who has been ousted as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors following allegations of financial misconduct.

The companies released a joint statement on Thursday, saying they remain “fully committed” to the alliance that Ghosn forged. Ghosn has denied wrongdoing, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Express (EXPR) will release earnings before the open.

GameStop (GME) and HP (HPQ) will follow after the close.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis will publish data on personal income for October at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Swiss GDP unexpectedly dropped 0.2% in the third quarter because of weakness in exports and manufacturing. The downturn reflects a wider economic slowdown in Europe.

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5. Coming this week:
Wednesday — US and UK inflation data; Cisco (CSCO), Hyatt (H), Yelp (YELP), Heineken (HEINY) report earnings
Thursday — US holiday retail sales; Coca-Cola (CCEP), CBS (CBS), Nvidia (NVDA) report earnings
Friday — Newell Brands (NWL) and Pepsi (PEP) report earnings