Equity futures rise after Nasdaq hits record to start third quarter

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Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind Wednesday with a modest loss, the top three indices are on track for significant weekly gains. The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq Composite are up 3.5%, 2.8% and 4%, respectively, since Friday’s close.The American markets will be closed Friday for the July 4 holidays.

Although traders credited Wednesday’s optimism for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, Thursday’s multiple employment reports are looming over the holiday weekend.

The tightly monitored monthly employment report, due to be released Thursday at 8:30 a.m., has proven difficult for market watchers to predict recently. Economists forecast a loss of 8 million jobs in May last month and the economy gained 2.5 million pounds of pay instead.Economists expect nearly 3 million jobs to be created in June, as companies rehired workers who they let go when the economy ceased to operate. Consensus estimates also predict the unemployment rate will drop to 12.4% from 13.3% in May.

At the same time, weekly unemployment claims data will also be released on Thursday morning.

Weekly claims data will provide Wall Street with a better idea of ​​the number of people who continue to receive unemployment benefits, a figure known as continuing claims. Last week, the Labor Ministry said that there were still nearly 20 million people receiving state unemployment benefits during the week ended June 20.

Another 1.38 million workers are expected to have filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, up from 1.48 million the week before.

CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to the report.

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