US pre-open: Futures point to modest losses ahead of jobless data
Wall Street futures had stocks in the red before the bell on Thursday as investors awaited this week's jobless claims report from the Labor Department.
As of 1150 BST, Dow Jones futures were down 0.08%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.09% and 0.07% lower, respectively.
The Dow closed 289.93 points higher on Wednesday and the S&P 500 fell just short of a new record close after recording its first losing session in over a week a session earlier.
Thursday's main focus will be the weekly jobless claims report at 1330 BST, with economists expecting to see another 1.1m Americans having filed first-time state unemployment claims in the week ended 8 August - a consecutive week-on-week deceleration but still sharply higher than readings prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SpreadEx's Connor Campbell said: "As for the Dow Jones, after closing just under 28,000 last night, the US index is set to drop 30 points when trading gets underway.
"Its open, however, is likely contingent on the state of the session’s jobless claims figure – facing a 21st consecutive week of seven-digit readings, analysts are expecting a slight decrease, from 1.186 million to 1.12 million. Still alarmingly high, but a welcome improvement nevertheless."
Market participants also remained fixated on Washington, with top lawmakers continuing to argue over a new Covid-19 relief package for American households and businesses.
On the macro front, jobless claims figures will be released at 1330 BST, as will import/export prices for July.
In corporate news, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi warned that the firm could be required to shut down its Californian operations for several months after a recent ruling requiring it to classify its drivers as full-time employees.
Kraft Heinz Foods and JC Penney will both report earnings on Thursday.