US pre-open: Stocks seen muted ahead of jobless claims, Powell testimony
US stocks were set for a fairly muted open on Thursday as investors eyed the latest initial jobless claims, having fallen sharply a day earlier after Federal Reserve officials warned that more fiscal stimulus was needed.
At 1210 BST, Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were up 0.1% and flat, respectively, while Nasdaq futures were 0.2% lower.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "We need to see how much this is buy the dip or sell the rally - we’re still in a downtrend and I don’t feel the bottom is in yet - key is the 3,229 low on Monday which is also slap bang on the 10% correction from the intraday peak at the start of September.
"So this needs to hold and I would expect it maybe gets tested - futures are up but I think the selling starts when the cash opens. Any bounce will be smaller than yesterday’s decline and if not today then in the coming days 3,200 is tested."
Investors will be eyeing the release of the latest initial jobless claims at 1330 BST, and testimonies at 1500 BST by Fed chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before Congress on the economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rabobank said jobless claims are seen "edging down oh-so-slowly, to 840K, meaning we are stuck in a labour market purgatory".
On the corporate front, Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants was weaker in pre-market trade after the release of its first-quarter results,while Accenture was in focus after its fourth-quarter numbers.