The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 144 points, indicating an opening gain of around 180 points (0.7%) when regular trading resumes on Thursday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures contracts showed opening advances of 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.
Overnight movements Wednesday evening have promised to add to the strong rally in the major stock market indices so far this week.
The Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 and Dow all extended their gains since the start of the week during Wednesday’s regular trading session and finished the day up 0.77%, 1.48% and 2 , 2% respectively. The large S&P 500 closed at its highest level since March, above 3,000; the Dow Jones jumped 553 points to end Wednesday’s session north of 25,000, its highest close since March.
The S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones are up 2.7%, 0.9% and 4.4% since the start of the shortened week. The Dow Jones is on track for its best week since the week ended April 8.
Shares of companies expected to benefit the most from reopenings, such as airlines and retailers, led the major indices up Tuesday and Wednesday. Kohl’s, Nordstrom and Gap all increased at least 14% on Wednesday, while airlines Delta, American, Alaska and United increased 2.6%, 7.5%, 2% and 3.8%, respectively .
Meanwhile, stocks that outperformed with the entry into force of home orders in March have lagged in recent sessions. Zoom Video fell 1.2%; Shopify, Amazon and Teladoc Health declined 2.3%, 0.6% and 1.1% respectively.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe made more optimistic comments on the country’s economic situation and the effectiveness of efforts to contain the impact of Covid-19.
Lowe told lawmakers that, since the country’s health outcomes are better than previously feared, “the economic downturn may not be as severe as expected.” He added that the central bank’s decision in mid-March to guarantee liquidity and the borrowing facility “is working as expected and is helping to build the bridges needed for the recovery.”
The upcoming US unemployment claims update on Thursday threatened to contain the optimism of the week.
The Department of Labor is expected to release the latest update to the first jobless claims at 8:30 am ET Thursday morning. Although economists polled by Dow Jones expect the government to announce a further deceleration in the pace of claims, consensus estimates predict that an additional 2.05 million Americans have applied for insurance during the week ended May 23.
Last week, the Labor Department announced that 2.44 million Americans had filed claims during the week ended May 16, bringing the coronavirus crisis to 38.6 million, the loss by far the largest in the history of the United States.
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