Market futures stable as Wall Street waits for jobless claims figures

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A woman walks past Wall Street subway station on March 23, 2020 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Futures linked to major US stock indices slipped during Wednesday night’s overnight session, suggesting that Wall Street may experience slight declines Thursday after the next government report on jobless claims.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 58 points, implying an opening loss of about 95 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures contracts also declined slightly.

Overnight movements followed a fall in the Dow Jones and S&P 500 during normal trading hours on Wednesday.

Dow industrialists lost 218.45 points (0.9%) to close at 23,664.64, the UnitedHealth and Travelers companies having each leveled 20 points north. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% on Wednesday due to a 3.5% drop in utility stocks and a 2.6% drop in energy-offset gains in tech and discretionary actions.

The Nasdaq Composite, the only major index to post a gain on Wednesday, rose 0.5% thanks to gains in locking games Netflix (+ 2.2%) and Amazon (+ 1.4%).

US traders will digest the latest Labor Department report on job demands on Thursday. An additional 3.05 million workers are expected to apply for benefits during the week ended May 2, bringing the total number of Americans looking for unemployment benefits in the past six weeks at around 33 million.

Earlier reports from the Department of Labor on jobless claims have shown that the number of Americans who had applied for unemployment insurance in connection with government-imposed business closings had reached historic benchmarks. Claims since March now exceed 22.442 million jobs added to the US economy since November 2009, when the US economy began to return to the economy after the Great Recession.

Investors are also preparing for the Department of Labor’s key jobs report on Friday, when economists expect the unemployment rate in the United States to climb to 16% in April from 4.4% in March . Dow Jones economists expect the non-farm payroll to drop by about 21 million last month.

In company news, Peloton said revenues jumped 66% in its third fiscal quarter as more and more Americans bought home fitness equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. Critically, Peloton said he saw demand from new customers who were inspired to buy one of his bikes in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic.

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