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18 Feb 2021 | 10:59

US pre-open: Futures point to losses ahead of jobless data

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were in the red ahead of the bell on Thursday as market participants awaited the publication of this week's jobless claims report later in the day. As of 1220 GMT, the Dow Jones futures were down 0.29%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.39% and 0.75% weaker, respectively.

The Dow closed 90.27 points higher on Wednesday in what was a mixed session for major indices.

Thursday's primary focus will be this week's jobless claims report from the Labor Department, with economists expecting to see 773,000 new claims, a modest decrease week-on-week.

Market participants will also be closely watching Treasury yields, currently nearing one-year highs, and surging oil and gas prices amid a cold snap in the state of Texas.

CMC Markets' David Madden said: "It has been a lacklustre morning so far as traders continue to be a little cautious about US government bond yields, even though the closely watched 10-year yield has dipped.

"Like with yesterday, there are minor concerns that US yields could spike due to chatter that inflation is set to rise because of all the various stimulus packages. Upward moves in yields is likely to spark speculation about higher interest rates - something that central banks don't even want to think about for the foreseeable future."

In the corporate space, Hormel Foods posted a 5% drop in quarterly pre-tax earnings despite reporting record net sales of $2.5bn, while Walmart earnings also missed expectations despite posting a 69% increase in e-commerce sales.

Blue Apron unveiled a fourth-quarter loss of $11.9m despite stating revenues were boosted by meal-kit demand, while Dropbox will report its latest quarterly figures after the close.

Leaders of Melvin Capital and Robinhood were also scheduled to appear in front of Congress on Thursday as part of a series of hearings around the meteoric rise of GameStop shares earlier in the month, while Reddit trader Keith Gill will speak at the House of Representatives' Committee on Financial Services.

On the macro front, January building permits data, February's Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index and the jobless claims report will all be published at 1330 GMT.
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