7:46 am: Walgreens earnings top estimates, boosted by stock up trend from coronavirus
Walgreens Boots Alliance beat Wall Street earnings expectations Thursday, sending shares up about 3% in early trading. The drugstore chain reported earnings per share of $1.52, topping the $1.46 per share expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Revenue was $35.82 billion for the quarter, compared to the $35.27 billion forecast. Walgreens said it was on track with its 2020 forecast to have roughly flat growth before the coronavirus pandemic. — Fitzgerald
7:35 am: Energy stocks pop as oil prices rise
Alongside the jump in oil prices, energy stocks got a boost in premarket trading on Thursday. Shares of Exxon Mobil jumped nearly 6% in extended trading. Diamondback Energy and Devon Energy soared nearly 10% each. Occidental Petroleum and Apache jumped more than 10%. Energy stocks have been beaten down as demand for oil evaporated in the face of the coronavirus shutdown. — Fitzgerald
7:29 am: US oil jumps 10% on possible end to price war
US oil prices surged 10% to back above $22 a barrel on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to come to an agreement about their price war that has added to the pain for the crude market, already getting hit by an unprecedented demand slowdown from the coronavirus. WTI crude rose 9.4% to $22.22 per barrel on Thursday morning. The European oil benchmark, Brent crude, also rose 9.9% to $27.19 per barrel. — Fitzgerald
7:22 am: Investors brace for big weekly jobless claims report
The number of jobless claims for the week ending March 28 is slated to be released Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect another 4 million to 5 million workers filed for unemployment benefits as coronavirus shutdowns roll through the country. The estimates range as high as 9 million. That follows the record 3.3 million claims filed the week earlier. Many more millions are still expected in the weeks to come, and layoffs could easily double those in the financial crisis, economists said. – Li, Domm
7:16 am: US coronavirus cases top 200,000
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 200,000 Wednesday, as the country ramps up testing and outbreaks seeps into new citires. The coronavirus has now infected 203,608 people in the U.S., killing at least 4,476 people, according to Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump has warned that the country could see an even greater surge in cases over the next few weeks. White House officials are projecting 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. deaths, with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks. Global cases are now over 900,000 with more than 47,000 deaths. — Fitzgerald
7:15 am: Stock futures jump, Dow set to open up 400 points
U.S. stock futures indicated an open in the green on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average future rising 400 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were also set to open higher. The stock futures were bolstered by a 10% spike in oil, which experienced a dismal first quarter due to the coronavirus and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Stocks are coming off of a disappointing first day of the second quarter on Wednesday. The Dow closed 4.4%, or nearly 1,000 points lower. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also closed 4.4% lower each.
A big jobless claims report ahead at 8:30 am ET would likely determine the direction of the market on Thursday. — Fitzgerald
— with reporting from CNBC’s Patti Domm.