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U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open, the day after the Dow Industrials snapped a two session winning streak.
The major futures indexes are indicating an increase of 1.2 percent when trading begins on Wall Street.
The Labor Department is expected to report that the number of claims for unemployment benefits declined to 3 million last week from 3.839 million the prior week. The estimates vary widely, from 1.5 million all the way to 9 million. During the prior six weeks a total of 30.31 million workers have filed jobless claims.
A report Wednesday morning showed private U.S. employers eliminated an astonishing 20.2 million jobs last month. That sets a dour stage for Friday’s more comprehensive monthly jobs report from the U.S. government.
Asian shares were mixed Thursday after a decline on Wall Street after more depressing data rolled in on the devastation sweeping the global economy.
Comments by President Trump on trade with China and casting blame on Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic have further dampened sentiment.
Trump said he would soon assess progress in a preliminary trade agreement with China that took effect in January, extending a truce in a painful tariffs war between the world's two biggest economies.
The possibility of revived friction over trade at a time when economies have been slammed by pandemic shutdowns and travel restrictions has rattled investors in Asia, where China is the main driver for regional growth.
On top of that, worries continue that potential relapses in social distancing might set off a new surge in infections in Japan, where many refrained from traveling and streets stayed empty during the past week's holidays.
In Asian markets, Japan's benchmark Nikkei gained 0.3 percent, reopening after Golden Week holidays, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell nearly 0.7 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.2 percent.
In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.7 percent, Germany's DAX rose by 0.9 percent and France's CAC gained 0.9 percent.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||34006.88||+43.04||+0.13%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13271.319537||+59.51||+0.45%|
In the Wednesday session, the S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.9 percent and Nasdaq rose 0.5 percent.
U.S. crude oil was trading higher by $2.12 cents to $26.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 57 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $23.99 a barrel Wednesday.
Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained $1.77 cents to $31.49 a barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.