US Markets

Triple-digit fall for Dow futures after jobless claims


U.S. stock-index futures declined on Thursday, as investors reacted to weekly jobless claims and earnings, while fretting a larger-than-expected drop in European inflation.

While weekly jobless claims came in slightly above expectations, the four-week moving average put a positive spin on the bigger picture.

But that "good news is getting overshadowed by concerns of deflation in Europe," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

Already lower, futures fell further after the government reported 302,000 Americans filed for jobless benefits last week, with the number coming in just above the 301,000 estimate.

Euro-zone inflation unexpectedly declined this month, highlighting the European Central Bank's worries that the region's economy is not healthy enough to support increased prices.

Exxon Mobil shares fell in early New York trading after the oil producer reported a 28 percent jump in quarterly profit.

The data comes after the Federal Reserve's statement on Wednesday, in which it acknowledged that labor market conditions had improved, but said "significant underutilization of labor resources" remained. It opted to cut its monthly asset-purchases by a further $10 billion, as expected.

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Also on Wednesday, official data showed the U.S. economy expanded in the second quarter at a better-than-expected annualized 4 percent. This helped the and Nasdaq end higher.

On Thursday, Tesla Motors is due to report after the bell.

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Outside of the U.S., Argentina will be in focus after it defaulted on its debt on Wednesday as last-minute talks with "holdout" creditors collapsed. This is the country's second default of the century—and third in 28 years—and is likely to hurt its economy, which is already in recession.