Dow recorded a record close at 21,532.14 points on Wednesday after Yellen sounded cautious on inflation

fed - Wall Street futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday, suggesting the Dow was likely to hit a new record high as investors looked ahead to Federal Reserve (Fed) chair Janet Yellen’s second consecutive appearance before the U.S. Congress.

The blue-chip Dow futures advanced 13 points, or 0.06%, at 7:02AM ET (11:02GMT), the S&P 500 futures gained 3 points, or 0.13%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures rose 15 points, or 0.25%.

The Dow recorded a record close at 21,532.14 points on Wednesday after Yellen sounded cautious on inflation and noted the Fed would not need to raise rates "all that much further" to reach current low estimates of the neutral funds rate in her first day of congressional testimony.

Although markets appeared to read her remarks as reflecting a more dovish tone, the Fed chief still backed the idea that the U.S. central bank would need to proceed in a “gradual” fashion and that it would likely begin to unwind asset purchases “this year”.

Yellen will testify for a second day on the central bank's monetary policy, this time in front of the Senate Banking Committee at 10:00AM ET (14:00GMT) Thursday.

The testimony will be the same as the one presented to the House on Wednesday, but Yellen will face a new round of questions from senators.

Prior to her appearance on the economic front, investors will digest weekly jobless claims and the June producer price index at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT).

On the company front, shares in Target (NYSE:TGT) jumped more than 5% as the retailer gave an upbeat view on second quarter earnings.

Delta Air Lines(NYSE:DAL),Commerce Bancshares(NASDAQ:CBSH) or Northern Technologies(NASDAQ:NTIC) were among a handful of firms scheduled to release results on Thursday one day prior to the unofficial start of earnings season.

JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) will be the first Dow component to release earnings on Friday in what will be a big day for bank sharesas Wells Fargo(NYSE:WFC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) also step up to the plate.

Meanwhile, oil prices were under pressure Thursday as the International Energy Agency’s monthly report showed that OPEC's compliance with production cuts fell in June to its lowest levels in six months.

According to the report, OPEC's compliance with cuts slumped to 78% last month from 95% in May.

U.S. crude futures lost 0.81% to $45.12 by 7:02AM ET (11:02GMT), while Brent oil fell 0.90% to $47.31.