Stock futures rise as leaders look at reopening the economy

Traders say stocks will be volatile until investors can see more clearly when countries might be able to stop the outbreak

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U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday, reversing earlier declines.

The major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 0.4 percent when trading begins.

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The early groundwork for reopening the U.S. economy is underway.

President Trump, along with the nation's top CEOs and business leaders, are working in tandem to provide a blueprint on how an economic reboot may roll out as cases of the coronavirus peak in some areas.

Investors will have more economic reports and bank earnings to digest, led by the latest jobless claims numbers.

Jobless claims are expected to decline to 5.1 million from 6.6 million the prior week, the second-highest ever.

The estimates remain all over the place, ranging from a low of 1.4 million to a high of 8 million.

Nearly 17 million people have filed for such aid in the just the past three weeks, representing more than one in 10 American workers.

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Housing starts and building permits for March are expected to fall to the lowest since September 2019 for starts and June 2019 for permits.

The Philly Fed manufacturing survey will get more attention than usual, especially after the NY Fed manufacturing index plunged more than expected this month to a record low. April’s anticipated reading of -30 would be the lowest since March 2009.

Morgan Stanley and Bank of New York Mellon headline Thursday's bank earnings.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index sank 2.2 percent after the U.S. government reported last month's retail sales plunged by a record 8.7 percent and factory output fell at the fastest rate for March since 1946.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES25383.11-17.53-0.07%
SP500S&P 5003044.31+14.58+0.48%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX9489.872484+120.88+1.29%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9 percent and the Nasdaq was down 1.4 percent.

In Asian markets on Thursday, Tokyo's Nikkei fell 1.3 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.6 percent and China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE is 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX gained 1.1 percent and France's CAC added 0.8 percent.

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Traders say stocks will be volatile until investors can see more clearly when countries might be able to stop the outbreak.

Energy stocks took the sharpest losses after oil prices touched another 18-year low.

Global oil demand will fall this year by a record amount, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

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Benchmark U.S. crude traded higher by 33 cents at $20.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract touched its lowest price since 2002 before recovering to $19.87.

Brent crude, used to price international oils,added 88 cents to $28.64 per barrel in London. It fell $1.91, or 6.5 percent, the previous session to $27.69.

FOX Business' Charles Brady and The Associated Press contributed to this article.