Thursday July 9th

9-07-2020

Stocks are headed for a higher open as tech shares rise again, jobless claims better than expected

U.S. stock index futures indicated slight gains on Thursday as major tech shares continue to lead the market higher amid rising coronavirus cases. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat, but pointed to a gain of 14 points. S&P 500 futures were up 0.2% and Nasdaq-100 futures traded 0.6% higher. Netflix and Microsoft were both up more than 1%. Apple advanced nearly 1%. Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet were also higher. These stocks have outperformed this week as investors grow concerned the recent global coronavirus spikes could prologue the current economic downturn. More than 3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. alone, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, over 12 million cases have been confirmed. Thursday’s moves come after the release of better-than-expected U.S. unemployment data. The Labor Department said 1.314 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a print of 1.39 million. Continuing claims fell by 698,000 to 18.06 million. The premarket moves followed a positive session on Wednesday, with the major indexes brushing off a record daily increase in new U.S. Covid-19 cases. Big Tech continued to carry the broader market higher on during regular trading and again allowed the Nasdaq Composite to outpace the S&P 500 and Dow industrials. Since last week’s close, the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq Composite are up 1.28%, 0.93% and 2.79%, respectively. The Nasdaq is up 29.68% over the last three months. Shares in Asia Pacific were higher on Thursday as Chinese inflation data for June was released. Mainland Chinese stocks, which have already seen a strong performance so far this week, continued to lead gains among the region’s major markets. The Shanghai composite gained 1.39% on the day to about 3,450.59 while the Shenzhen component surged 2.599% to around 13,754.74. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.13% higher, as of its final hour of trading. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.4% to close at 22,529.29. The Topix index ended its trading day flat at 1,557.24. Over in South Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.42% to close at 2,167.90. Oil prices drifted lower on Thursday as concerns about renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States outweighed signs of a recovery in U.S. gasoline demand. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were unchanged at $40.90 per barrel, after rising 0.7% on Wednesday. Brent crude futures gained 19 cents to trade at $43.48 per barrel, after gaining 0.5% on Wednesday. Gold held above $1,800 on Thursday, close to the near nine-year peak hit in the previous session, on growing fears that surging coronavirus cases could stall a global economic recovery, with the focus shifting to U.S. jobs data later in the day. Spot gold was little changed at $1,809.19 per ounce. It climbed to its highest since September 2011 at $1,817.71 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures were 0.3% lower at $1,816.