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Stock futures gain after better-than-expected jobless claims

Stock futures gain after better-than-expected jobless claims

02 Sep 2021

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Source: The New York Stock Exchange

U.S. stock futures gained slightly on Thursday after weekly jobless claims came in slightly better than expected.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up by 80 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.3%.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 340,000 for the week ended August 28, versus a Dow Jones expectation of 345,000. The number is also the lowest since March 2020 at the height of the Covid crisis.

The data came in a day before the key August jobs report, which investors are watching closely to decipher how fast the Federal Reserve will remove easy monetary policy. Economists predict 720,000 jobs were added in the month, down from 943,000 jobs added in July.

There were very few big movers in premarket trading. Shares of Moderna were up 1%. Shares of ChargePoint, the maker of charge systems for electric vehicles, jumped 12% after reporting stellar quarterly earnings. Pet retailer Chewy and retailer Five Below saw shares tumble 9% and 8%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.

Chipmaker Broadcom is scheduled to report quarterly results after the bell Thursday.

The market was mostly lackluster on Wednesday, the first trading day of September, with the Dow dipping 48.20 points, or 0.1%, to 35,312.53. The S&P 500 finished the day near the flat line, gaining just 1.41 points, or 0.03% to 4,524.09.

But the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.3% to 15,309.38, hitting a record.

“The relentless march higher on low volatility in U.S. equities continues and with breadth, volume positioning and sentiment measures all positive in our view we look for the rally to extend further into new highs yet,” Credit Suisse said in a note Wednesday.

Energy stocks fell during Wednesday as oil and gas prices continue to rise with Hurricane Ida shutting down oil production and refining operations. Those losses were offset by gains in utility and real estate stocks.

Small-cap stocks made bigger moves, with the Russell 2000 index gaining 0.6% on Wednesday following a 2.1% gain in August. Analysts and investors say that movement in small caps is tied to a move higher in value stocks.