Dow futures point to losses early Thursday as investors digest Fed policy guidance and await jobless claims

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to sharp losses early Thursday as investors processed the Federal Reserve’s economic outlook and its decision to hold benchmark interest rates at superlow levels for at least the next three years.

A round of less-than-stellar U.S. economic reports early Thursday, including jobless benefit claims, manufacturing activity, and housing may also raise the bar for bullishness on Wall Street.

How are equity benchmarks performing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, -1.07% YMU20, -1.06%  were off 315 points, or 1.1%, at 27,620, those for the S&P 500 index ES00, -1.44% ESU20, -1.43%  were down 51.40 points at 3,327.75, a decline of 1.5%. Nasdaq-100 futures NQU20, -2.20% NQ00, -2.21%  were retreating 255.50 points, or 2.3%, to reach 10,997.50.

On Wednesday, the Dow DJIA, +0.13%  added 36.78 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 28,032.38, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.46%  shed 15.71 points, or 0.5%, closing at 3,385.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.25% fell 139.85 points, or 1.3%. The Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.92%  of small-capitalization companies, rose 14.18 points, or 0.9%, to close at 1,552.33.

What’s driving the market?

Weak U.S. economic data amid the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty about the Fed’s new policy stance in the near-term was creating some friction for stock buying early Thursday.

A day after the

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