Stock futures fall ahead of sobering economic reports

GDP, jobless claims and tech earnings are on tap

U.S. equity futures are trading down ahead of the Thursday trading session on Wall Street.

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The major futures indexes are suggesting a decline of 1.1 percent.

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The Commerce Department will release the first reading on second-quarter GDP which is expected to show the biggest U.S. economic plunge on record caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Growth is estimated to show a drop at an annual rate of 34.1 percent. The first quarter showed a 5 percent decline.

The drop is expected to have been caused by a huge plunge in consumer spending as people stayed home and avoided shopping, traveling or gathering in crowds as the virus raged.

Depressed activity in such areas as business investment, home construction and government spending also likely contributed to the worst quarterly contraction dating to 1947.

US GROWTH REPORT TO SHOW A RECORD-BREAKING ECONOMIC PLUNGE

In addition, the Labor Department is expected to say the number of claims for unemployment benefits rose for the second week in a row to 1.45 million, up from 1.416 million the prior week. Since the coronavirus lockdowns began in mid-March some 52.69 million people have filed for jobless claims.

On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned that rising coronavirus cases, which have led some state governments to reimpose anti-disease measures, threaten the modest recovery from the pandemic.

The Fed said it would keep buying $120 billion of Treasury and mortgage bonds every month to encourage borrowing and spending, but Powell said Congress needs to take action. Legislators have yet to agree on aid after $600 in weekly unemployment benefits for millions of Americans run out this week.

FED UNDERSCORES SUPPORT FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY THREATENED BY CORONAVIRUS RESURGENCE

In Europe, London's FTSE fell 1.6 percent, Germany's DAX plunged 2.5 percent and France's CAC declined 1.3 percent.

In Asian markets, the Nikkei in Tokyo gave up 0.3 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.7 percent and China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.2 percent.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.2 percent in its biggest daily increase in two weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite added 1.4 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27433.48+46.50+0.17%
SP500S&P 5003351.28+2.12+0.06%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11010.982553-97.09-0.87%

Eastman Kodak surged 318.1 percent, gaining for a second day after the company won a $765 million government loan to launch a new business unit making pharmaceutical components. Shares rose to $33.20 from $2.62 on Monday.

A day after their CEOs appeared at a hearing on Capitol Hill,  Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, the parent of Google, will report earnings.

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In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 66 cents to $40.62 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 23 cents on Wednesday to $41.27. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 65 cents at $43.10 per barrel in London.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.