US stock futures traded at gains despite a sharp slowdown in US economic growth.
The S&P 500 futures are showing a 0.3% gain when the opening bell rings on Wall Street.
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The first estimate of GDP for the third quarter, released Thursday morning, showed a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 2%, well below the growth rate of 6.7% in the second quarter.
At 281,000, unemployment claims were slightly below the 290,000 of the previous week.
DELTA VARIANT BRAKES BREAKTHROUGH FOR US ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE THIRD QUARTER
At the same time, the Ministry of Labor is on the way with the list of new applications for unemployment benefits for the past week. 290,000 are expected, unchanged from the pandemic low in the previous week. Ongoing entitlements, which track the total number of unemployed receiving benefits, are projected to fall by 66,000 to another pandemic low of 2.415 million.
HOUSE PRICES INCREASE MOSTLY TO A RECORD, NEW SALE PRICES
Later that morning, the National Association of Realtors released its September Pending Home Sales Index. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expect the index to remain unchanged after a much stronger than expected increase of 8.1% in August as buyers rushed into the market.
The profit parade continues before the opening bell goes out from two other Dow members – heavy machinery maker Caterpillar and drug maker Merck.
The afternoon reports are highlighted by Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks.
Ford announced that it would again distribute a dividend of 10 cents per share from the fourth quarter. That costs the company about $ 400 million a quarter. Ford stock is up 10% in pre-trading.
The European Central Bank is expected to leave its policy unchanged on Thursday and counter growing expectations of a rate hike next year.
London’s FTSE lost 0.3%, Germany’s DAX lost 0.2% and France’s CAC was 0.2% higher.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.9% after the Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged at a meeting on Thursday. It lowered its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to 3.4% compared to the estimate published in July of 3.8%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was down 0.4%, while the Chinese Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.2%.
|Me: DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGE VALUES||35819.56||+89.08||+ 0.25%|
|SP500||S&P 500||4605.38||+8.96||+ 0.19%|
|Me: COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||15498.388494||+50.27||+ 0.33%|
In New York, the S&P 500 slipped 0.5% on Wednesday to 4,551.68. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7% to 35,490.69. Both it and the S&P 500 had posted record highs the day before.
The Nasdaq gained less than 0.1% to 15,235.84.
Long-term bond yields fell sharply, putting a strain on banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative lending rates. The 10-year government bond yield fell to 1.53% from 1.61% late Tuesday. It was steady at 1.55% early Thursday.
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US crude oil prices fell 2.4% on Wednesday, dragging energy stocks down. Exxon Mobil fell 2.6%.
On Thursday, US benchmark crude lost 81 cents to $ 81.86 a barrel. Brent crude, the basis for international pricing, fell 86 cents to $ 83.72 a barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.