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Stocks - US Futures Lower Ahead of Employment Data

Stock MarketsJun 04, 2020 12:01
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By Peter Nurse - U.S. stocks are set to edge lower Thursday, consolidating after recent gains amid increased Sino-U.S. tensions and ahead of key unemployment data.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), S&P 500 Futures traded 14 points, or 0.5%, lower, Nasdaq Futures down 18 points, or 0.2%. The Dow Futures contract fell 105 points, or 0.4%. 

All three cash indices are well over 30% above their first-quarter lows, boosted by hopes of a faster economic recovery amid signs the Covid-19 pandemic's grip on the economy has relaxed. 

ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) on Wednesday said that private payrolls fell by 2.76 million jobs in May, confounding economists' expectations for a drop of 9 million.

Attention will now turn to the weekly initial jobless claims, at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT). These are expected to come in at 1.8 million, lower than 2.1 million reported last week and a solid sign of continued improvement. 

There are a couple of blots on the horizon. Civil unrest throughout America is showing few signs of stopping, while tensions between China and the U.S. rose overnight after the U.S. suspended flights into the country by Chinese airlines effective from June 16 in response to an earlier Chinese move to bar American carriers.

This is the latest conflict between the two sides after China approved the enactment of national security laws in Hong Kong and Macau last month.

In corporate news, General Motors (NYSE:GM) will be in the spotlight after CEO Mary Barra expected confidence Wednesday that North American vehicle production will return close to pre-pandemic levels by end-June. 

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) will also be in focus after the retailer returned to growth last month, saying late Wednesday that its May net sales rose 7.5% to $12.6 billion. Online sales helped, more than doubling in the month.

Oil prices headed lower Thursday, amid uncertainty over when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will next meet and what that means for production cuts going ahead.

This overshadowed Wednesday’s surprise fall in stockpiles of U.S. crude of 2.1 million barrels for the week ended May 29.

U.S. crude prices fell 1.6% to $36.69 a barrel, while Brent Futures dropped 0.8% to $39.48.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,716.05/oz, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1201, down 0.3%.


Stocks - US Futures Lower Ahead of Employment Data

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