Stock futures trade cautiously ahead of jobless claims, stimulus vote

The House will vote on a $483 billion proposal to deliver more loans to small businesses and aid to hospitals

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U.S. equity futures are pointing to a slightly lower open ahead of a vote on a stimulus package in the House of Representatives and the latest jobless figures.

The major futures indexes are indicating a decline of 0.3 percent when trading begins on Thursday.

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Benchmark crude gained 11 percent, or $1.46 to $15.23 a barrel. The price of a barrel of U.S. oil to be delivered in June jumped 19 percent to settle at $13.78 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.37 to $21.74 per barrel.

The Senate late Tuesday approved a $483 billion proposal to deliver more loans to small businesses and aid to hospitals. The House is expected to vote on it Thursday.

The new bill would come on top of more than $2 trillion in aid that Congress has already approved.

Investors will have reports on labor, and housing to digest on Thursday.

The Refinitiv estimate for last week’s jobless claims tally is 4.2 million. That’s down from 5.245 million the previous week. The range of 3 million to 5.5 million expected claims is narrower than what we’ve seen in recent weeks.

The Commerce Department will release new homes sales figures for March. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv forecast a decline of 15 percent, the steepest since July 2013, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 645 thousand homes.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei added 1.5 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.4 percent and China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE slipped 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX was off 0.1 percent and France's CAC was up 0.3 percent..

Investors are still bracing for a severe, painfully deep recession after businesses shut down worldwide in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29872.47-173.77-0.58%
SP500S&P 5003629.65-5.76-0.16%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12094.402197+57.62+0.48%

The S&P 500 rose 62.75 points, or 2.3 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2 percent and the Nasdaq composite picked up 2.8 percent.

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The massive support for markets from the Federal Reserve, has helped the S&P 500 rise 25 percent since a low in late March. The index has roughly halved its loss from its record set in February.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.