US pre-open: Futures point to losses ahead of jobless data
Wall Street futures had stocks opening lower on Thursday as market participants seemed ready to take a break from what had been a strong week for stocks so far ahead of another round of jobless data.
As of 1230 BST, Dow futures were down 0.55%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.56% and 0.45% lower, respectively.
The Dow closed 369.04 points higher on Wednesday as major indices clawed back most of the losses recorded in the previous session despite some heightened rhetoric from the President aimed at China.
As far as Thursday was concerned, the session's main focus will be on a forthcoming update to the unemployment claims.
The Department of Labor will release its latest update to initial jobless claims at 1330 BST, with economists expecting the government to reveal a deceleration in the pace of new claims as consensus estimates predicts another 2.4m Americans having filed for benefits during the week ended 16 May.
Also under scrutiny ahead of the bell was news of setbacks in certain countries that had previously been praised for their managing of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving investors concerned about a second wave of cases, and increased US-Sino tensions as a result of an increase in rhetoric from Donald Trump.
Oanda's Craig Erlam said: "I think we're probably heading for more of a cold war scenario, with Trump and his team being particularly critical of the Chinese in the run up to the election in November.
"The last thing he needs is the finger of blame for the number of deaths in the US being pointed his way when the economy is in such a perilous position. He'll do whatever it takes to ensure this doesn't happen."
Elsewhere on data, IHS Markit's manufacturing and services PMIs will be posted at 1445 BST, while existing home sales data will be released at 1500 BST.
Federal Reserve heads Jerome Powell, Richard Clarida, John Williams and Lael Brainard will all deliver speeches throughout the course of the day.
In corporate news, shares in tech giants Facebook and Amazon both hit all-time highs overnight after a new e-commerce venture was launched by the social media giant and the online retailer continued to operate effectively amid the Covid-19 pandemic.