Stock futures trade lower ahead of jobless claims

Traders will be watching jobless claims and retail earnings

U.S. equity futures were trading lower ahead of the opening bell.

The major futures indexes suggest a decline of 0.5%.

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Traders will have an eye on the latest jobless claims figures before the opening bell.

Expectations are for 450,000, down from a pandemic low of 473,000 the prior week. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to drop by 15,000.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve releases its May index of manufacturing activity for eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. It’s expected to slip more than 7 points to a reading of 43.0, down from April’s reading of 50.2. Any reading above zero means that more manufacturers say business conditions are improving rather than worsening.

Retailers will remain in the spotlight. Kohl’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Petco Holdings and Children’s Place will all report quarterly results.

In Europe, London's FTSE is off 0.1%, Germany's DAX added 0.3% and France's CAC gained 0.5%.

Shares were mixed in Asia on Thursday as Japan reported strong trade data signaling a recovery in demand from the pandemic.

The Nikkei 225 regained lost ground, edging 0.2% higher, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.5% and China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.1%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33290.08 -533.37 -1.58%
SP500 S&P 500 4166.45 -55.41 -1.31%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14030.375849 -130.97 -0.92%

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.3% to 4,115.68 after recovering from a 1.6% slide earlier in the day. The benchmark index was on track for its second weekly loss in a row.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 33,896.04. The Nasdaq fared better than the rest of the market, shedding less than 0.1%, to 13,299.74.

CISCO SHARES FALL ON FORECAST

Cisco Systems Inc. reported fiscal third-quarter results that topped Wall Street expectations but it was the company's forecast for the current quarter that sent shares down. Cisco expects its per-share earnings to range from 81 cents to 83 cents, which would fall short of the expectations for 85 cents per share

Shares fell 6% in after-hours trading.

Digital currencies fell sharply Wednesday after China’s banking association issued a warning Wednesday over the risks associated with digital currencies.

BITCOIN: WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT'S AHEAD

But Bitcoin’s price stabilized Thursday, rising 0.5% to $39,726, according to the crypto news site Coindesk. It dropped more than 6% on Wednesday, swinging in a huge range of as low as $30,202 and as high as $43,621 over the course of the day. It hit its all-time high of over $64,800 a month ago,

Investors remained focused on whether rising inflation will be temporary or whether it will endure. Prices are rising for everything from gasoline to food as the economy recovers from its more than year-long malaise.

The fear is that the Federal Reserve will have to dial back its extensive support if inflation persists. That includes record-low interest rates and the monthly purchase of $120 billion in bonds meant to goose the job market and economy.

The minutes from the central bank’s April meeting of policymakers, which were released Wednesday afternoon, reaffirmed the view that the Fed’s decision to keep its benchmark interest rate ultra-low remained the best policy approach, though some officials cautioned that some factors pushing inflation higher may not be resolved quickly.

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On Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 92 cents to $62.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $2.50 on Wednesday to $63.35 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard for pricing, lost $1.31 to $65.33 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.