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Stock market news live updates: Stock futures little changed as traders dissect Powell, economy

Stock futures were narrowly mixed in Thursday evening’s extended session, indicating Wall Street would open little changed on Friday, with major benchmarks contending with the coronavirus’ ongoing impact on the economy and the potential for a policy shift by the Federal Reserve.

ended Thursday’s regular session on a mixed note, digesting stubbornly high unemployment data and Federal Chair Jerome Powell’s pledge to try and nudge inflation higher.

AMZN), Apple (AAPL) — which have surged to new records. Facebook (FB), and Alphabet (GOOGGOOGL) have also posted their highest-ever closing levels.

Although the Nasdaq snapped a five-day winning streak, the broader S&P 500 Index stretched to its fifth record close, and closed up 6 days in a row. On an intraday basis, the Dow briefly reversed all of its 2020 losses before ending modestly higher. It now sits just over 1,000 points away from February’s record high.

persistence of low inflation over the last eight years risks new economic difficulties. 

“On the one hand, with the framework review out of the way, it gives the Fed something to do at the September [Open Market Committee] meeting: namely, introduce new, more aggressive forward guidance,” said JPMorgan Chase economist Michael Feroli.

“On the other hand, the absence of any remarks by Powell about actions to support the new strategy may indicate that the Committee is content with the amount of monetary support they are already providing to the economy,” he added.

MSFT) and Walmart (WMT) got a boost as reports surfaced that the two giants were nearing a joint agreement to buy out TikTok, the embattled viral video app at the center of national security concerns. CNBC reported that the retail giant had joined in with Microsoft to buy the platform, in the wake of TikTok’s CEO resigning. A deal could close as soon as this week, CNBC reported.

investors received the latest dour read on the jobs market, as another 1 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment insurance benefits last week. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continue to reverberate across the economy, with the report showing back-to-back weeks that jobless claims topped the 1 million mark, following a brief break below that level earlier in August.

6:03 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures mixed in start of extended trading

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:15 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3488.00, up 2.75 points

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 28,501, up 33 points

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11947.75, down 5 points

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