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Dow Futures Fall 110 Pts; Jobless Claims Data Due

Stock MarketsDec 09, 2021 12:28
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By Peter Nurse - U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Thursday, as investors take stock after three days of solid gains on lessening concerns over the Omicron virus and ahead of important unemployment data.

At 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 110 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 15 points, or 0.3%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 65 points, or 0.4%.

The major averages all closed higher Wednesday, the third day of gains, with the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.1%, the S&P 500 up 0.3%, creating the biggest three-day rise of the year for this broad-based index, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rising 0.6%.

Global equities have been helped this week by indications that the Omicron strain was not as medically damaging as previous variants. Wednesday’s statement from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) that their vaccine appears to be effective against the new variant after three doses added to the positive sentiment. That message suggests that the booster shot programs being rolled out across North America and Europe will keep infection rates low until the pharma industry has had time to tailor its vaccines to the new variant.

Still, the Covid pandemic is far from over, with the U.K. Health Security Agency warning that the U.K. could register one million cases by the end of this month given the steep trajectory of the Omicron variant.

Investors also appear to be playing a waiting game ahead of Friday’s November inflation report, with a high number expected to cement a move by the Federal Reserve to speed up its tapering plans next week.

Consumer prices are expected to rise 0.7% month-over-month, equating to an annual rise of 6.8%, the highest level for over 30 years.

Ahead of that, the latest weekly U.S. jobless claims data, the most up-to-date gauge of the strength of the country’s labor market, are due at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT).

In the corporate sector, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will be in the spotlight after Italy's antitrust watchdog fined the online retail giant 1.13 billion euros ($1.28 billion) for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of the biggest penalties imposed on a U.S. tech giant in Europe.

GameStop (NYSE:GME) will also be in focus after the troubled video game retailer released another quarterly loss and disclosed a subpoena from the U.S. securities regulator for documents on a probe into its share trading activity. 

Additionally, the likes of Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) and Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) release earnings after the close.

Oil prices handed back some of the recent strong gains on increasing optimism that the new variant will not cause a significant hit to crude consumption.

Wednesday’s U.S. crude oil supply data from the Energy Information Administration showed a draw of 240,000 barrels for last week, less than the previous week’s 910,000-barrel draw and also below the draw of 3 million barrels indicated by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.

By 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% lower at $71.91 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.7% to $75.33. 

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,779.50/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.1310.



Dow Futures Fall 110 Pts; Jobless Claims Data Due

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