Tech stocks jump, futures flat, awaiting jobless claims

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7:41 am: Facebook shares jump on ad revenue ‘stability’

Shares of the social media giant jumped more than 8{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the premarket after the company reported “stability” in its ad revenue after a decline in March. Facebook said its March ad revenues dropped sharply amid the coronavirus pandemic, but noted it stabilized in the first few weeks of April. The company’s overall revenues for the first quarter beat expectations. “The COVID impact, while negative, is less severe for FB (25 points of decel) than peers such as Google search, Snap or Twitter, showing strength of FB’s news feed auction,” writes BofA Securities analyst Justin Post. —Imbert

7:40 am: Oil prices jump on optimism surrounding economies reopening

Oil prices jumped on Thursday, extending Wednesday’s surge, on optimism that economies might soon begin to reopen. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed $2.36, or 15.7{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}, to $17.43 per barrel. The U.S. benchmark surged 22{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} on Wednesday. Brent was up 11.4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}, or $2.57 at $25.11 a barrel in light trading, with the June contract expiring on Thursday, having posted a 10{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} gain on Wednesday. Oil also rose after data showed a smaller-than-expected build in U.S. stockpiles, as well as an announcement from Norway’s oil minister that the country would curb production for the first time in 18 years in an effort to help shore up prices. –Stevens

7:32 am: Weekly jobless claims expected to hit 3.5 million

The unprecedented swelling of the unemployment ranks continued last week, with first-time jobless claims expected to hit 3.5 million when the Labor Department releases its latest count Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. If that’s accurate, it would take the running six-week total close to 30 million as the economic freeze brought about by the coronavirus continues. The only bright side is that the level of filing appears to have peaked from the nearly 6.9 million who filed the week of March 28. –Cox

7:30 am: Stock futures flat, on pace for best month in decades

U.S. equity futures were mainly flat on Thursday as market participants digested strong technology earnings and awaited jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures implied an opening gain of around 70 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures also pointed to gains at the open. 

Stock surged on Wednesday, with the Dow rising more than 500 points. The rally was helped by hopes of a coronavirus treatment from Gilead and commentary by the Federal Reserve that the central bank will take any measures necessary to support the economy. Equities were also helped by strength in technology stocks, like Alphabet, which jumped more than 5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}. The S&P technology sector closed in positive territory for the year.  

Thursday is the last trading day if April. The S&P 500 is on track for its biggest one-month gain since 1974. The Dow is on pace for its best month since 1987. — Fitzgerald 

With reporting from Jeff Cox.

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