Futures sharply lower, awaiting jobs data, second wave of cases?

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A trader walks in front of the New York Stock Exchange on May 26, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City.

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

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7:04 am: Latest read on the economy with jobless claims

Investors are looking to the release of the latest jobless claim numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET for a read on the state of the economy. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 1.595 million claims, which would represent a slowdown in the number of new people filing. Data released last Thursday showed that 1.877 million people had filed claims in a sign that the worst is over for the coronavirus-related job crisis, although the number remains high by historical standards. Additionally, the number of continuing claims, which provides a clearer picture of how many Americans remain unemployed, continues to creep higher. Since March more than 42 million people have filed for unemployment insurance. – Stevens

6:44 am: Stock futures sharply lower

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sell-off at the start of trading on Thursday as fears over a second wave of coronavirus cases sent the major averages tumbling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was slated to open 560 points lower for a loss of 2%. The S&P 500 was poised to drop 1.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite was set to shed 1.4%. Stocks sensitive to the economy’s reopening, which have been sharply higher in recent sessions, led the premarket declines.

The S&P 500 is on track for its third straight day of losses and is once again negative for the year. Earlier in the week the benchmark index briefly turned positive for 2020 before the rally took a breather. Still, the S&P 500 is now just 6% below its February record high. Meanwhile the Nasdaq Composite hit a new all-time high during Wednesday’s session, and closed above 10,000 for the first time on record as Big Tech continues to outperform. – Stevens 

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