Stock futures mixed as traders await latest economic figures
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U.S. equity futures are pointing to a mixed open as traders brace for the latest reading on GDP and also unemployment figures.
The major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 0.7 percent on the Dow, but a decline on the Nasdaq.
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Stocks are coming off of a two-day winning streak that saw the Dow rise above 25,000.
Market reaction could depend on a couple of major economic reports that will be released before the trading session begins.
The Labor Department is expected to say the number of claims for unemployment benefits fell for the 8th week in a row to 2.1 million, down from 2.438 million the prior week. Since the coronavirus lockdowns were initiated in mid-March, 38.64 million people have filed jobless claims. An additional 2.1 million would bring that total to 40.74 million.
We’ll also get the Commerce Department’s second read of first-quarter gross domestic product. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expect GDP to contract at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.8 percent, unchanged from the initial estimate at the end of April.
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Asian stocks were mixed after an upbeat open on Thursday, as investors pinned their hopes on an economic rebound from the coronavirus crisis.
Shares rose in Tokyo, but dropped in Hong Kong, where tensions are flaring over Beijing’s effort to exert more control over the former British colony.
The most recent developments are another thorn in a relationship already testy over China's handling of the early stages of the coronavirus outbreaks and over longstanding trade and other antagonisms.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China. That sets the stage for the U.S. to withdraw the preferential trade and financial status Hong Kong has held since it reverted to Chinese rule 23 years ago.
While Hong Kong's role as regional trading center and financial hub has been to a large extent sidelined by developments on the Chinese mainland, removing its special status would be a huge blow to businesses located in the city because of its independent financial and legal systems.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.8 percent, while the Shanghai Composite index declined 0.3 percent.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index advanced 2.3 percent, lifted by the latest, $1.1 trillion, infusion of stimulus for Japan's moribund economy.
In europe, London's FTSE rose 0.7 percent, Germany's DAXadded 0.8 percent and France's CAC jumped 0.9 percent.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||25548.27||+553.16||+2.21%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||9412.357817||+72.14||+0.77%|
In Wednesday's session the benchmark S&P 500 ended a choppy day of trading up 1.5 percent at 3,036.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.2 percent, its first close above 25,000 points since March.
The Nasdaq composite recovered from an early slide, adding 0.8 percent.
U.S. crude oil for delivery in July lost 96 cents to $31.85 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.54 on Wednesday to settle at $32.81 per barrel.
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July Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 78 cents to $33.96 per barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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