Stock futures trade cautiously ahead of jobless claims report

The S&P 500 index hit an all-time high Wednesday for a second straight record close

U.S. equity futures were trading mixed ahead of the latest report on jobless claims.

Continue Reading Below

Dow futures are trading 0.1% lower, while Nasdaq futures are suggesting a gain of 0.2%.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

A trio of economic reports could set the direction for trading on Thursday.

First up will be initial jobless claims for last week. They’re expected dip slightly to 775,000.

The final Markit services Purchasing Manager's Index for November will be released. The flash reading two weeks ago came in at 57.7 (a reading above 50 signals an expanding services sector).

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing PMI for November will also be released. Expansion in the services sector is expected to cool slightly to 56.0 from 56.6 in October.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index rose 0.2% to an all-time high of 3,669.01, a second straight record close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 29,883.79. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, which also opened the month with a new record, slipped 0.1% to 12,349.37.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30814.26-177.26-0.57%
SP500S&P 5003768.25-27.29-0.72%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12998.502287-114.14-0.87%

Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Thursday, helped by progress toward rolling out coronavirus vaccines and talk of reaching a compromise on new help for the U.S. economy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo edged up less than 0.1% to 26,809.37, its highest close in more than 29 years.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.7% and China's Shanghai Composite index shed 0.2%.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.1%, Germany's DAX fell 0.3%  and France's CAC was off 0.2%.

US CONGRESS PASSES BILL THAT COULD DELIST CHINESE STOCKS FROM US MARKETS

As countries prepare to begin vaccinating health care workers and others at high risk against the coronavirus, hopes are rising that the pandemic will be brought under control, allowing economies to recover.

The rollout of a vaccine in the U.S. could begin this month, if regulators give their approval. Drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said they won permission for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, which will be one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its population against the virus.

Unemployment remains high as the COVID-19 outbreak widens the gulf between average people and the wealthiest Americans. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that its latest survey of private U.S. employers shows they added 307,000 jobs last month. That fell short of Wall Street analysts’ expectations for a gain of 405,000 jobs, according to FactSet.

US PRIVATE EMPLOYERS ADD 307,000 JOBS IN NOVEMBER AMID CORONAVIRUS SURGE

The report precedes a broader jobs survey from the Labor Department due out Friday. Economists are forecasting that will show employers added about 441,000 jobs in November, down from a gain of 638,000 in October.

Traders are hoping Democrats and Republicans may reach a deal on some amount of economic stimulus for the economy before 2021, though they remain divided on the details and the cost.In other trading,

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 31 cents to $44.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 73 cents to $45.28 per barrel on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, declined 28 cents to $47.97 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.