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Stock market news live updates: Stock futures drift lower as new jobless claims spike

Stock futures fell Thursday morning as investors absorbed a rise in the Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report, and digested more earnings from Corporate America.

Labor Department’s weekly unemployment claims report showed that 1.1 million workers filed for benefits last week, well above consensus economists expectations of another 920,000. Analysts have been hopeful that claims could one again dip below the 1 million mark for a second time since the start of the pandemic, yet the numbers are still well above the pre-pandemic record of 665,000 new claims from March 2009.

The data couldn’t have come at a more inopportune moment, as Washington has yet to agree on a new stimulus package, and the coveted $600 per week unemployment bonus has expired.

Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting minutes, as well as officials’ apparent unreadiness to clearly signal their guidance on the path forward for interest rates at their next meeting. In the minutes released Wednesday afternoon, policymakers also appeared to shirk the prospects of adopting formal yield curve targets in the near-term. Treasury yields fell Thursday morning.

US central bankers agreed that “the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.”” data-reactid=”24″>On the US economy, US central bankers agreed that “the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.”

Paul Ashworth, Capital Economics chief US economist, said in a note that “despite evident concerns that the resurgence in infections could weigh on the economy, the majority of officials were content to wait for more incoming information.”

However, “with the infection rate falling again, there may be less urgency to add to the monetary policy stimulus. But the other thing that stands out from the minutes is that Fed officials still believe ‘strong fiscal policy support’ is ‘necessary to encourage expeditious improvements in labor market condition. With Congress failing to extend the fiscal stimulus, more of the burden will fall to monetary policy,” he added.

TGT) rallied 12.7% to close at a record high Wednesday, after the big-box retailer reported its fastest-ever sales growth in the second quarter, driven by a 195% surge in e-commerce sales. Shares added mostly to gains in pre-market trading. Lowe’s (LOW) shares closed modestly higher, but edged slightly lower Thursday morning, after the home-improvement giant reported a 35% jump in US DIY comparable sales, driven by a surge in consumers taking on redecorating projects during the pandemic.

new unemployment claims jump to 1.1 million in the latest week, well above consensus expectations for a sub- 1million reading and a sign that the recovery is losing momentum. Last week’s better-than-expected figure raised hopes that the COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on jobs could be waning, but with new infections still on the rise, those hopes have been tempered.

Stock futures are lower on the news, pointing to a weak open for Wall Street.

7:21 a.m. ET: Alibaba quarterly results top estimates as core commerce business ‘fully recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels’

second-quarter sales and profit that handily topped estimates, as a recovery in Chinese consumer spending helped the e-commerce giant’s core business return to pre-pandemic levels of performance.” data-reactid=”36″>Alibaba (BABA) posted second-quarter sales and profit that handily topped estimates, as a recovery in Chinese consumer spending helped the e-commerce giant’s core business return to pre-pandemic levels of performance.

Quarterly sales grew 34% to 153.75 billion yuan, or about $21.8 billion, and topped estimates for 148.06 billion yuan. Adjusted earnings of 14.82 yuan were better than the 13.79 yuan expected. Mobile monthly active users grew to 874 million, beating estimates by about 3 million.

“Our domestic core commerce business has fully recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels across the board, while cloud computing revenue grew 59% year-over-year,” Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of Alibaba Group, said in a statement. “Our strong profit growth and cash flow enable us to continue to strengthen our core business and invest for long term growth.”

7:06 a.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures point to a lower open

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:06 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,367.5, down 5.25 points or 0.16%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,588.00, down 44 points, or 0.16%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,335.25, up 3.25 points, or 0.03%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.48 (-1.12%) to $42.45 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$32.40 (-1.64%) to $1,937.90 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -2.1 bps to yield 0.654%

6:01 p.m. ET Wednesday: Stock futures open slightly lower

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:01 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,370.25, down 2.5 points or 0.07%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,628.00, down 4 points, or 0.01%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,326.5, down 5.5 points, or 0.05%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 26: Television journalists and others gather across from the entrance to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the first day that traders are allowed back onto the historic floor of the exchange on May 26, 2020 in New York City. While only a small number of traders will be returning at this time, those that do will have to take temperature checks and wear face masks at all times while on the floor. The Dow rose over 600 points in morning trading as investors see economic activity in America picking up. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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