Stock futures trade lower ahead of economic data

The latest jobless claim and existing home sales could steer the direction of trading

U.S. equity futures are trading lower ahead of the Thursday trading session.

The latest move in the markets comes after a rebound day in which Wall Street had a broad advance led by technology companies and banks.

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On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.9%, snapping a two-day slide, to close at 4,173.42. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9% to 34,137.31. Both the S&P 500 and Dow hit all-time highs on Friday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq added 1.2% to 13,950.22.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34885.58 +107.82 +0.31%
SP500 S&P 500 4204.64 -27.96 -0.66%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13447.932224 -304.30 -2.21%

In the Thursday session, traders will look over the latest count for new jobless claims for last week. Expectations are for 617,000, up from a surprise pandemic low of 576,000 the prior week.

Another key report to watch will be existing home sales for March. The National Association of Realtors is expected to say that sales of previously owned homes slipped half a percent month-over-month in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.19 million units.  October’s tally of 6.86 million homes was the highest since November 2005.

BIDDING WARS HEAT UP AMID RED-HOT HOUSING MARKET

The earnings parade rolls on Thursday with two Dow members posting quarterly results – chip giant Intel after the bell and chemical maker Dow before the start of trading. The morning will also feature numbers from AT&T, Valero Energy and HCA Healthcare.

Investors are weighing company earnings reports while keeping an eye on bond yields, which eased lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.54% from 1.56%.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.1%, Germany's DAX gained 0.5% and France's CAC was up 0.8%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 2.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5% and China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.2%.

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In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil shed 30 cents to $61.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $1.32 to $61.35 per barrel on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, declined 37 cents to $64.95 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.