1. Tanker trouble: US crude oil futures surged as much as 4% on Thursday following reports that two tankers had been attacked in the Gulf of Oman.
United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations, which monitors security in the region, said it was aware of an incident, and that Britain and its partners were investigating.
An advisory from the agency indicated the incident had occurred near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital trade artery through which roughly 30% of the world’s sea-borne crude oil passes.
The waterway links the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, separating Oman from its eastern neighbor, Iran.
US crude futures had been trading near their lowest levels in five months. But they rebounded as traders reacted to reports of the attacks, gaining 2.3% to trade at $52.34 a barrel by 4:35 a.m. ET.
Investors will also keep an eye on OPEC’s monthly report due Thursday. On the radar: What OPEC says about the broader forces that had been driving prices lower, as well as any insight on supply by country.
2. CrowdStrike surges: Tech stocks have largely disappointed in their recent Wall Street debuts. Not CrowdStrike.
Shares in the cybersecurity firm rallied more than 70% in their first day of trading on Wednesday. The stock closed at $58, up from the IPO price of $34.
CrowdStrike continues to edge higher in premarket trading Thursday. The company uses cloud technology to analyze and prevent data breaches.
3. Mixed markets: It’s shaping up to be a mixed day for global stocks amid an uncertain trading environment.
US stock futures also point higher after finishing the past two days in the red.
The Dow is poised to rise 80 points, or 0.3%, when US markets open. The Nasdaq could gain 0.5%, while the S&P 500 is tracking up 0.3%.
4. Coming this week:
Thursday — German inflation data; Tesco and Broadcom earnings; OPEC report; European Union industrial production
Friday — US and Chinese retail sales; University of Michigan consumer sentiment