Dow futures head lower ahead of key employment report as Senate approves historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill

U.S. stock-index futures were edging lower Thursday morning, following the historic passage of a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill that was approved in the Senate late Wednesday, putting it one step closer to being signed into law to combat the coronavirus epidemic.

However, investors were awaiting the weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department which is expected to see a huge spike in unemployment benefit claims and provide the clearest indication to date of the economic implications of the outbreak of COVID-19.

How are benchmarks performing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMM20, -1.41% were down 77 points, or 0.4%, at 20,949, those for the S&P 500 ESM20, -1.62% were off by 18 points at 2,449, for a decline of 0.8%. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM20, -1.28% were trading 49 points, or 0.7%, lower at 7,418.75.

On Wednesday, the Dow DJIA, +2.39% rose 495.64 points, or 2.4%, to settle at 21,200.55. The S&P 500 SPX, +1.15% rose 28.23 points, or 1.2%, to end at 2,475.56. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.45% turned negative, finishing down 33.56 points, or 0.5%, at 7,384.30.

The move for the Dow on Wednesday marked its first two days of successive gains since Feb. 6, while the S&P 500 registered its first consecutive gains since the period ended Feb. 12.

From its recent record highs, the Dow is down 28.3% from its Feb. 12 closing peak, the S&P 500 was around 27% from its recent high, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq was off 25%.

What’s driving

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