Stock futures trade cautiously after record day

Traders will have reports on GDP and jobless claims to study on Thursday

U.S. equity futures are searching for direction ahead of the Thursday session on Wall Street.

The major futures indexes suggest a small gain on the Dow and a decline of 0.2% on the Nasdaq.

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Investors are looking toward the Federal Reserve's annual convention in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which begins Thursday. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at the convention on Friday.

Investors are betting that Fed officials will remain in a "wait and see" mode regarding inflation, since most policymakers believe any inflation earlier this year would be temporary and the rise in COVID-19 cases has made some economists worried.

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Two economic reports are due before the opening bell.

The Commerce Department will release the second estimate of 2Q GDP.  The Refinitiv forecast is for a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.7%. That’s slightly higher than the first estimate of 6.5%, and above the 4.1% growth rate in the first quarter.

And the Labor Department is out with its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 350,000, a slight uptick from the prior week’s total of 348,000, which was the lowest since March 14, 2020. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to drop by 30,000 to a pandemic low of 2.79 million.

In Europe, London's FTSE declined 0.4%, Germany's DAX fell 0.7% and France's CAC was off 0.5%.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave up 1.1% and China's Shanghai Composite lost 1.1%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34899.34 -905.04 -2.53%
SP500 S&P 500 4594.62 -106.84 -2.27%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15491.656804 -353.57 -2.23%

On Wall Street on Wednesday, financial and energy companies led the S&P 500 to another all-time high. The benchmark edged up 0.2% to close at 4,496.19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 35,405.50. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq gained 0.2% to 15,041.86, which was also an all-time high.

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In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude shed 58 cents to $67.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used as the price basis for international oils, dropped 52 cents to $71.73.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.