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The major futures indexes are suggesting a decline of 0.4 percent prior to the release of the weekly report on jobless claims.
The Labor Department is expected to say the number of claims for unemployment benefits declined to 846,000 last week, down 35,000 from the previous week’s tally of 881,000 and the lowest reading since March 14, right before the coronavirus lockdowns.
Investors will also get the latest data on producer prices for August. Headline PPI is expected to increase 0.2%, according to Refinitiv forecasts, after a larger-than-expected rise of 0.6% in July.
In Europe, London's FTSE slipped 0.5%, Germany's DAX was up 0.4% and France's CAC declined 0.1%.
In Asia, the Nikkei in Tokyo added 0.9%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.6% and China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.6%.
Wall Street's S&P 500 index ended Wednesday up 2% for its best day in three months.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||27781.7||+329.04||+1.20%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||11167.506924||+82.26||+0.74%|
Investors were snapping up lower-priced shares and were encouraged by hopes of possible additional stimulus from the European Central Bank, analysts said. But they warned the recovery was fragile.
Apple, Amazon and other U.S. tech companies that had lost momentum late last week all regained some ground.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.6%, to 27,940.47 and the Nasdaq composite, which includes many tech stocks, rose 2.7% to 11,141.56. It had dropped 10% over the previous three days.
The U.S. Congress was at an impasse on whether to approve a new economic aid package after additional unemployment benefits ran out. and other stimulus that it approved earlier ran out.
A Senate vote this week on a trimmed-down relief package proposed by Republicans has only a slim chance of passage as Democrats insist on more sweeping aid.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 56 cents to $37.50 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.29 on Wednesday to settle at $38.05. Brent crude, the international standard, declined 45 cents to $40.34 per barrel in London. It added $1.01 the previous session to $40.79.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.